Academic journal article Geography

Flood: Nature and Culture

Academic journal article Geography

Flood: Nature and Culture

Article excerpt

Flood: Nature and culture John Withington London: Reaktion Books, 2013 192pp, 21x15cm, Pb: £14.95, ISBN 978-1-78023-196-9

The cultural history of the world is framed by two great floods. An ancient deluge (with parallels on every continent) swept away all but a few survivors; and today we live beneath the melting ice caps. Flood: Nature and Culture is an attractive publication, produced in high gloss quality, tracing mankind's turbulent relationship with our rising waters. Like that first flood, it covers almost everything: a kaleidoscope of unexpected sources range from Babylon to Banksy. It explores in detail natural hazards from the North Sea surge of 1953 to the appalling toll exacted by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Withington has an eye for the extraordinary as he traces four millennia of flood defences, up to the Thames Barrier and Three Gorges Dam: 'Some of the most ambitious structures ever built. …

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