Coverart for item
The Resource Rain : a natural and cultural history, Cynthia Barnett

Rain : a natural and cultural history, Cynthia Barnett

Label
Rain : a natural and cultural history
Title
Rain
Title remainder
a natural and cultural history
Statement of responsibility
Cynthia Barnett
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
Cynthia Barnett's "Rain" begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science--the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains--with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River. As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world
Writing style
Review
  • Environmental journalist Barnett (Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis ) examines how dramatic flood and relentless drought have made their mark on human lives. She packs her persuasive volume with plenty of solid history, but her style in this exploration leans much more toward the lyrical in understanding how rain—whether dreary, cleansing, or unrelentingly wet—has become a core anchor of the human condition. Barnett draws inspiration from a wide range of sources: the music of Seattle’s grunge bands; the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Emily Dickinson; the drive to predict and control that spurred the actions of early weather trackers, rainmaking charlatans, and government cloud-seeders; the urge to blame that brought women to their deaths in the witch trials of Europe; the creative ambition displayed by the inventor of the Macintosh coat; and the scent-making magic behind monsoon-ravaged India’s earthy petrichor attars or America’s obsession with the synthetic smell of ”rain-themed products.” There are also some odder quirks in the account, particularly her discussion of bizarre phenomena such as rains of frogs and a bit of ill-placed Indian travelogue at the end. Nevertheless, Barnett beautifully evokes universal themes of connecting cycles of water, air, wind, and earth to humankind across time and culture, leaving readers contemplating their deeper ties with the natural world. (May) --Staff (Reviewed March 16, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 11, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ The weather plays into our lives in countless ways. If we say it's raining cats and dogs (United States), shoemakers' apprentices (Denmark), old women and walking sticks (Wales), or husbands (Spain), rain conjures up some of the strangest and most vivid descriptions. Covering these idiomatic expressions, the economic significance of rain in India and around the world, the influence of rain on writers and artists, and more, Barnett (Blue Revolution ) explores every facet of the substance. A seamless blending of personal narrative with scientific and cultural explanations makes the book both informative and entertaining. Fans of Mary Roach will recognize a similar ease of style and interjection of wit into what could easily become a boring topic. Barnett succeeds in producing a text that is accessible to every reader, from the environmental scientist to the parent choosing whether their child needs to wear a raincoat that day and everyone in between. VERDICT Recommended for anyone who has ever experienced drought, flood, drizzle, or gully washer. Readers of all ages and experiences will find something to appreciate here.— John Kromer, Miami Univ. of Ohio Lib., Oxford, OH --John Kromer (Reviewed February 15, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 3, p124)
  • /* Starred Review */ An environmental journalist returns with a multifaceted examination of the science, the art, the technology and even the smell of rain throughout history.Barnett, who has written previously about hydrology (Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis, 2011, etc.), has an eclectic agenda for her new work. She takes us back to the Big Bang and then moves rapidly forward, explaining in crisp, evocative sentences why Earth is our solar system's only habitable planet. She then discusses rainfall issues around the globe before commencing her focus on individual facets of the subject. Barnett writes about historical cycles of drought and flood and how they affected the world's principal religions—from Noah to Indian rain dances. She segues into weather forecasting, with an emphasis on the meticulous records that Thomas Jefferson kept (she returns to him at various other times). She pauses to tell us about the developments of the raincoat and the umbrella and provides a couple chapters on rain in American history—with details in one chapter about the westward migration, including the difficulties in Nebraska and elsewhere on the Great Plains. A particularly engaging chapter deals with "rainmakers," from charlatans to scientists. The author then tries to show the influence of rain on various arts, from Chopin to Dickens to Dickinson to Woody Allen. (This topic needs an entire book of its own.) Next comes the scent of rain, the perfume industry in India, and the problems of rainwater in urban areas, with a focus on Seattle and Los Angeles. Barnett also deals with the oddities of rain (frogs falling from the sky), and she ends with some sharp comments for climate change deniers—and with a visit to the rainiest place on earth, a town in India. Highlights the severity of some of our environmental problems with knowledge, humor, urgency and hope.(Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10414167
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1966-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Barnett, Cynthia
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Physical geography
  • Rain and rainfall
  • Rainfall anomalies
  • Climatic changes
  • Earth sciences
  • Weather
  • Droughts
  • Rain
  • Climate Change
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a natural and cultural history
Label
Rain : a natural and cultural history, Cynthia Barnett
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 297-334) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Origins -- Elemental rain. Cloudy with a chance of civilization ; Drought, deluge, and devilry ; Praying for rain -- Chance of rain. The weather watchers ; The articles of rain -- American rain. Founding forecaster ; Rain follows the plow ; The rainmakers -- Capturing the rain. Writers on the storm ; The scent of rain ; City rains -- Mercurial rain. Strange rain ; And the forecast calls for change -- Waiting for rain
Control code
000053669259
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
355 pages
Isbn
9780804137096
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)890377468
Label
Rain : a natural and cultural history, Cynthia Barnett
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 297-334) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Origins -- Elemental rain. Cloudy with a chance of civilization ; Drought, deluge, and devilry ; Praying for rain -- Chance of rain. The weather watchers ; The articles of rain -- American rain. Founding forecaster ; Rain follows the plow ; The rainmakers -- Capturing the rain. Writers on the storm ; The scent of rain ; City rains -- Mercurial rain. Strange rain ; And the forecast calls for change -- Waiting for rain
Control code
000053669259
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
355 pages
Isbn
9780804137096
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)890377468

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
Processing Feedback ...