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William Grimes…[a] fascinating account of shifting climatic conditions and their consequences from about A.D. 800 to 1300, often referred to as the Medieval Warm Period…Mr. Fagan, an anthropologist who has written on climate change in The Long Summer and The Little Ice Age, proceeds methodically, working his way across the globe and reading the evidence provided by tree rings, deep-sea cores, coral samples, computer weather models and satellite photos. The picture that emerges remains blurry…but it has sharpened considerably over the past 40 years, enough for Mr. Fagan to present a coherent account of profound changes in human societies from the American Southwest to the Huang He River basin in China.
—The New York Times