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- DescriptionHistorian Alfred W. Crosby looks at hard, accurate throwing and the manipulation of fire as unique human capabilities. Humans began throwing rocks in prehistory and then progressed to javelins, atlatls, bows and arrows. We learned to make fire by friction and used it to cook, drive game, burn out rivals, and alter landscapes. In historic times we invented catapults, trebuchets, and such flammable liquids as Greek Fire. About 1,000 years ago we invented gunpowder, which accelerated the rise of empires and the advance of European imperialism. In the 20th century, gunpowder weaponry enabled us to wage the most destructive wars of all time, peaking at the end of World War II with the V-2 and atomic bomb. Today, we have turned our projectile talents to space travel which may make it possible for our species to migrate to other bodies of our solar system and even other star systems.
- Author BiographyAlfred W. Crosby is Professor Emeritus in American Studies, History, and Geography at the University of Texas, Austin, where he taught for more than 20 years. His previous books include Ecological Imperialism (2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, 2004), America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influence of 1918 (2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, 2003), and The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600 (Cambridge University Press, 1997). The Measure of Reality was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the 100 most important books of 1997.
- Author(s)Alfred W. Crosby
- PublisherCambridge University Press
- Date of Publication06/08/2010
- SubjectInventions & Technology: General Interest
- Place of PublicationCambridge
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintCambridge University Press
- Content Note17 b/w illus.
- Weight260 g
- Width140 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine14 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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