"The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them)"

May 21, 2018

Our guest is the California-based seismologist, Dr. Lucy Jones, whose new book is "The Big Ones." It offers a bracing look at some of the history's greatest natural disasters, world-altering events whose reverberations we continue to feel today. At Pompeii, for example, Dr. Jones explores how a volcanic eruption in the first century AD challenged prevailing views of religion. Later in the book, she examines the California floods of 1862 and how they show that memory itself can change or fade over successive generations. She also explores such recent disasters as the the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and the American hurricanes of 2017. Per a critic for Library Journal: "For all her impressive expertise, Dr. Jones delivers a very accessible book -- without sacrificing the scientific content, the text is sprinkled with relatable analogies to help readers better understand some of the more technical geological processes.... Touching on environmental science, history, sustainability, plate tectonics, engineering, and design, this book is sure to have broad appeal."