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Mergen (American studies, emeritus, George Washington Univ.; Snow in America) has written an engaging account on a subject we all complain about but can't change: the weather. He takes an original approach by expanding on the development of meteorology and institutional histories of the U.S. Weather Bureau, American Meteorological Society, and the Weather Channel. He also discusses how air and clouds have been studied with instruments such as the barometer and radar and depicted in paintings, photographs, and other artistic and cultural media, then goes on to examine the treatment of weather in American novels and poetry. The book concludes by assessing how people cope with the impact of weather, including natural disasters, and the author's own experiences with storm chasers out West. Merger draws on a wide array of sources to produce this fascinating study of a timeless human obsession. Recommended for all public and academic collections.
—Stephen L. Hupp