Great Rivers of the Worldby Paolo Novaresio
Rivers never die, not even in the deserts: they may fade away temporarily, but are always resuscitated by the first rainfall, as is the case with the Okavango and the wadis in the Sahara Desert. The courses of the great rivers – impetuous, placid, and often capricious – narrate the history of the Earth and of humankind. All civilizations and great… See more details below
Rivers never die, not even in the deserts: they may fade away temporarily, but are always resuscitated by the first rainfall, as is the case with the Okavango and the wadis in the Sahara Desert. The courses of the great rivers – impetuous, placid, and often capricious – narrate the history of the Earth and of humankind. All civilizations and great cities, from Babylon to New York, were born along rivers. Rivers have been the cradle of kingdoms and empires and trade routes; they are also corridors of migration for peoples and armies. But they have also been impassable barriers, boundaries between different worlds. Since they bestow life and death, they have always been considered sacred – as mothers, fathers, dragons, the abode of spirits and gods, entities to be venerated. At least, this was so in the past. Nowadays most rivers are blocked by dams and forcibly channeled into artificial basins, and the very destiny of humanity is linked to their present uncertain courses.
This book discusses the twenty-five longest, most important, famous and fascinating of the world’s rivers – from the Ganges to the Mekong, from the Nile to the Amazon, from the Colorado and the Mississippi to the Tigris-Euphrates system and the Danube, Rhine and Seine – with the ambitious aim of offering an absolutely new portrait of each river. Aerial photographs and panoramic images are enhanced by special-area views and details, all of which spark the heightened awareness and imaginative musings that we experience while seated on the banks of great rivers or while going downstream from source to estuary.
The photographs and archival documents evoke the crucial moments in the evolution of the rivers and the roles they have played in the development of civilizations and the creation of their regional environments. The thoughtful, incisive text describes each river, its features and geographical location, as well as the events that these extraordinary monuments of nature have witnessed. This is a naturalists’ book, rich in documentation and information, as well as a historical work that discusses humankind and its age-old relationship with rivers. Lastly, because of the fascination, evocation, and sheer magic that river landscapes so often elicit, this book is also a work of art.
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