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The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the…

The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and…

by William K. Klingaman, Nicholas P. Klingaman

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Weather, 19th century economics, Napoleon., Yankee farmers in Indiana, sunspots and Mary Selley's Frankenstein. ( )
  jefware | Jul 3, 2014 |
This 2013 book tells of the volcanic eruption on Sumbawa in Indonesia on Apr 5, 1815. It was such a momentous catastrophe that it affected the weather all over the world in 1816, causing terrible suffering and starvation because the summer of 1816 was so adversely affected. It was diastrous in many places, including in Baden, and since my great-great-grandparents left Baden in 1817 and came to the U.S., I am wondering whether their leaving Baden was the result of the suffering caused there by the volcano. If so, it can be said the volcano caused me to come to be, since if any of my ancestors were different I would not be me but would be somebody else! Except for that interesting personal effect, I did not find the book too exciting or riveting, since it spends lots of pages simply telling what was said about the weather in 1816 in books and diaries and newpapers. After awhile, that tends to pall and one says yes, we see the weather in 1816 was awful but we don't need to be told that over and over. The book does tell about interesting people, James Madison, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, King Louis XVIII. et al., and what they said about the weather, and what they did and so on, which is of interest. But in general I did not find the book as interesting as the other two books by William K. Klingaman which I read. ( )
  Schmerguls | Dec 26, 2013 |
Written by a father-son team of an historian and a meteorologist, this book had a good mix of history and science. Although the topic was interesting and the worldwide cultural effects of the eruption were fascinating, the book dragged on, especially through the middle section. In the end it was only pretty good, but the potential was there for so much more ( )
  megaden | Oct 14, 2013 |
Comparing this book to [b:The World Without Us|248787|The World Without Us|Alan Weisman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1317065220s/248787.jpg|241063], a book I loved, set me up for such disappointment. The subject matter piqued my interest but I did not enjoy the reading experience.

It still sort of pains me to abandon a book like this. So many books, so little time. ( )
  diovival | Oct 14, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William K. Klingamanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klingaman, Nicholas P.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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Just before sunset on April 5, 1815, a massive explosion shook the volcanic island of Sumbawa in the Indonesian archipelago.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031267645X, Hardcover)

Like Winchester's Krakatoa, The Year Without Summer reveals a year of dramatic global change long forgotten by history


In the tradition of Krakatoa, The World Without Us, and Guns, Germs and Steel comes a sweeping history of the year that became known as 18-hundred-and-froze-to-death. 1816 was a remarkable year—mostly for the fact that there was no summer. As a result of a volcanic eruption in Indonesia, weather patterns were disrupted worldwide for months, allowing for excessive rain, frost, and snowfall through much of the Northeastern U.S. and Europe in the summer of 1816.

In the U.S., the extraordinary weather produced food shortages, religious revivals, and extensive migration from New England to the Midwest. In Europe, the cold and wet summer led to famine, food riots, the transformation of stable communities into wandering beggars, and one of the worst typhus epidemics in history. 1816 was the year Frankenstein was written. It was also the year Turner painted his fiery sunsets. All of these things are linked to global climate change—something we are quite aware of now, but that was utterly mysterious to people in the nineteenth century, who concocted all sorts of reasons for such an ungenial season.

Making use of a wealth of source material and employing a compelling narrative approach featuring peasants and royalty, politicians, writers, and scientists, The Year Without Summer examines not only the climate change engendered by this event, but also its effects on politics, the economy, the arts, and social structures.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:27 -0400)

Traces a year of dramatic global change in the aftermath of a massive early nineteenth-century Indonesian volcanic eruption that disrupted weather patterns and triggered food shortages, religious revivals, migrations, and a typhus epidemic.

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