Ancient Perspectives encompasses a vast arc of space and time—Western Asia to North Africa and Europe from the third millennium BCE to the fifth century CE—to explore mapmaking and worldviews in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In each society, maps served as critical economic, political, and personal tools, but there was little consistency in how and why they were made. Much like today, maps in antiquity meant very different things to different people.
Scientifically up-to-date and illustrated with over 240 color photos, An Atlas of Illinois Fishes is a benchmark in the study of Illinois’s ever-changing fish communities and the habitats that support them.
This dazzling book takes us on a voyage of discovery around the world at the turn of the last millennium, when for the first time the world was in essence a unity. Islam bridged Eurasia, western Europe, and North Africa. Vikings, with links to Scandinavia and Russia, had just arrived in North America. These and other peoples reached out to create links and put isolated cultures unwittingly in touch. John Man vividly captures these epochal events, and depicts the colorful peoples that defined the world’s mix of stability and change, of isolation and contact. In an immensely learned portrayal, he traces enduring cultural strands that became part of the world as we know it today.In text, maps, and pictures, most in color, and drawing on the expertise of two dozen consultants, John Man has created a concise compendium of all the major cultures of the lost millennial world of 1000. In some cultures—Europe, Islam, China, and Japan—written records contain a vast range of materials, often revealing sharply focused details of life and personality. Here lie startling contrasts with today’s world, and even foreshadowing of the future that are equally astonishing in their familiarity. For nonliterate cultures—in the United States, Southeast Asia, Polynesia, Africa—this book draws on a wealth of archeological research, some of it made available to nonspecialists for the first time.
Earlier this year, President Obama declared one of his top priorities to be “making sure that people are able to get enough to eat.” The United States spends about five billion dollars on food aid and related programs each year, but still, both domestically and internationally, millions of people are hungry. In 2006, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations counted 850 million hungry people worldwide, but as food prices soared, an additional 100 million or more who were vulnerable succumbed to food insecurity.
If hunger were simply a matter of food production, no one would go without. There is more than enough food produced annually to provide every living person with a healthy diet, yet so many suffer from food shortages, unsafe water, and malnutrition every year. That’s because hunger is a complex political, economic, and ecological phenomenon. The interplay of these forces produces a geography of hunger that Thomas J. Bassett and Alex Winter-Nelson illuminate in this empowering book. The Atlas of World Hunger uses a conceptual framework informed by geography and agricultural economics to present a hunger index that combines food availability, household access, and nutritional outcomes into a single tool—one that delivers a fuller understanding of the scope of global hunger, its underlying mechanisms, and the ways in which the goals for ending hunger can be achieved. The first depiction of the geography of hunger worldwide, the Atlas will be an important resource for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in understanding the geography and causes of hunger. This knowledge, the authors argue, is a critical first step toward eliminating unnecessary suffering in a world of plenty.
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