The Nightmare of Reason

Blom - cover
Die Welt aus den Angeln
Hanser Verlag

In his new book, historian and polymath Philipp Blom turns his attention to a period that shaped early modern European history: the little ice age. From 1570 until 1700 Europe underwent severe climatic changes. What was the impact on society, art, science and culture? Blom employs contemporary accounts by eye witnesses – Marlowe, Montaigne and Shakespeare among them – to give the reader a vivid insight into what life was like in the seventeenth century, and explores the effects that social upheaval, initiated by climate change, had on European thinking. The result is thought-provoking and entertaining in equal measure.

Accompanied by high quality illustrations, The Nightmare of Reason effortlessly ties together intellectual and natural history and shows that the two are more closely interwoven than one might think. A thoroughly European book, Blom takes examples from all over Europe to create an impression of the changes sweeping the continent during this momentous time. A truly fascinating book for anyone interested in history, science and climate change.

Philipp Blom was born in Hamburg in 1970 and studied Philosophy, History and Jewish Studies in Oxford and in Vienna, where he now lives. He has received numerous awards including a scholarship at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the Premis Internacionals Terenci Moix and the German Non-Fiction Book Award. His most recent publications by Hanser are The Vertigo Years. Europe 1900-1914 (2009) and Fractures. 1918-1938 (2014).

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Carl Hanser Verlag was established by its eponymous owner in 1928 in Munich, and its founder’s interests in both literature and science have been maintained to the present day. The firm publishes fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children. Its authors include Italo  Calvino, Umberto Eco, Jostein Gaarder, Lars Gustafsson, Milan Kundera, Harry Mulisch,  Philip Roth, Susan Sontag, Botho Strauß, Raoul Schrott, Rafik Schami, Alfred Brendel, Elke Heidenreich and ten Nobel prizewinners, among them Elias Canetti, whose works have been translated into more than thirty different languages.


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