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Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    This book is brillant!!!!

    I read this when it came out in hardback (after seeing a special about it on TV- History Channel I think), in 2000. If you are a lover of history, this book is like getting the last piece of puzzle....all the random piece of information you've been storing in your brain suddenly fall into place and it all makes sense! I wouldn't normally pay $12.99 for an e-copy of a book, but this book is worth every penny! This book should be required reading for all high school students.....David Keys is an incredible story teller....a rarity for non-fiction, history authors. Read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2008

    Interesting Book

    For the responder- Sceptical - Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot ¿ who writes a comment on a book they have not even read? You have no idea of what you are talking about. When did it become acceptable to just babble for babble sake? It only serves to inform others of how limited people can be, if that was your point it was well taken.<BR/><BR/>About the book (which is why this section is for). I read the book because I saw the interview that David Keys had with Charlie Rose and I agree with one of the other responders it was a page turner. I think because I had already started reading on the subject I perhaps had a pretty good handle of what he was writing about. Although critics believe he over simplified his subject, but if put into context with other writings, David Keys has presented a rather compelling thesis on the origins of the Medieval world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2001

    Don't know if its true, but it sure is fascinating

    This book at least attempts greatness! How does one man know so much about history, archeaology, geography, biology, disease, bacteria, earthquakes, dams and floods, nomadic migration of the Turks and Avars, the digestive processes of horse vs. cow-based cultures, medieval Jewish kingdoms 1000 miles north of Jerusalem, the source of the English myth of 'The Wasteland', ice cores and tree rings? Keys combines them all from all over the globe to present a universal theory that a huge Sumatra/Java volcano in 535 B.C. dimmed the sun globally for 18 months resulting in widespread drought, then plague, then nomadic displacement resulting in new pressures on old and weakened cultures--all this resulting--within in a century-- with the downfall of 70% of Roman territory, the rise of Islam, the failure of old religions and rise and spreading of Buddhism into Korea and Japan, fall of several Latin American cultures, conquest of the Celtic (plague-ridden) English by the Angles/Saxons (non plague-ridden), shift of power from Southern France to Paris, and on and on and on--the making of the nations states which made our modern world ('proto-modern' is how Keys puts it). Whether an assembly of bona-fide biologists, earthquake experts, archeologists, doctors, linguists, religionists and historians (for Keys has done the work of an assembly) would agree him on each and every point, I can't say. My guess is he has overstated his case somewhat (it certainly 'feels' too big to really answer everything--it sort of feels like the PBS series 'Connections'--'a drought led to a razor blade which became a computer chip'), but the attempt is impressive, the history is fascinating, the book is impossible to put down. I can't imagine a greater undertaking nor a more interesting way to be exposed even to the petty details of history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2000

    Couldn't Put It Down

    This is a fascinating look at a possible event in history. In putting forth his theory, the author pulls together a lot of world history, reminding those of us who grew up in a Eurocentric World that there is a lot more to it. Keys never puts his ideas forth as truth, but it's hard to discount his logic. It's a lot of fun to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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