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New Light on the Black Death 1st Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0752435985
ISBN-10: 0752435981
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Baillie is a leading expert in dendrochronology, or dating by means of tree-rings, and is the author of Exodus to Arthur: Catastrophic Encounters with Comets.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Tempus; 1 edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752435981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752435985
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,794,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Fred Mrozek on January 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." To that

we should add, that those who do not understand the past, though they may remember it,

are still at risk of repeating it. This book is an attempt to help us

understand what may have caused the Black Plague. And in so doing, we might

find out that the avoidance of a repeat may depend on a crew of folks whom you

probably least expect.

If the Black Plague and other previous plagues were merely diseases spread

by rats, why are there anomalous amounts of ammonia and nitrates

concentrated in the ice cores at depths that correspond to AD 1348, 1014,

626, 539 and 430 B.C. ? And why are there sharp climatological events in

the Dendrochronological(tree ring) record at many of these dates? What did

ancient authors try to tell us about these events? Which of these authors

credibility blossoms in the light of new evidence and which of them wilt?

What could the Siberian (Tunguska) atmospheric explosion in 1908 have to do

with understanding a great plague 600 years earlier?

If you read this book, you will be amazed at the detective work that must

have been required to write it. And you will be fortunate to have been "tipped off"

to a broader subject that will change the way we view the last 10,000 years of

human history. That subject is the interaction between the Earth and other

debris careening through our solar system in the forms of comets and

near-earth asteroids.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Allen I. Branson on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Unless you are a history buff specializing in pandemics you may well be thinking, "why would I care about a book on the Black Death?" I thought the same thing, until I read it at the recommendation of a friend. What a great read!

Not only did I learn a lot about the ways in which historical data is gathered from tree rings and ice core samples, Baillie relates all of that to world wide mythology in a way that, by the end of the book, starts making complete sense in a way it never did before. Suddenly, weird stories about heroes morphing into bizarre creatures in Ireland and dragons fighting battles in the air in China not only made sense but were pretty clearly different culture's ways of describing the same events.

In terms of historical studies, that is already interesting enough. The core of the book, however, is almost mind blowing. The point of it is this: not only was the Black Death likely due to the explosion of a comet or cometary fragment in Earth's atmosphere, but that these things likely happen far more frequently than anyone has imagined and on a fairly regular basis.

To prove to yourself that his hypothesis is at least feasible, do a search on the word "fireball" and see just how many are reported. You might notice something interesting in what you find. Not only are there far more sightings of these things that you'd think, they are on the increase! In other words, it looks as if we are heading into a danger zone in space much like during the time of the Black Death and several other times in history that have been probably incorrectly seen as pandemics.

One other point that is not explicitly made in the book but that bears thinking about is the effect on our weather of all of the dust that is brought in by these fireballs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Phung Minh Hoang on April 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a scientific book that reads like a detective novel. For the first time, Baillie takes a cross-disciplinary approach to study what happened during the Black Death in Europe in the 14th century. A large amount of evidence is gathered from diverse fields of studies such as tree ring, ice core to mythology to present a convincing case that what caused the Black Death was not at all what the consensus has taken it to be. Rather than the bubonic plague, Baillie shows that the event that killed up to half Europe's population was caused by toxic substances released by cometary impacts from space.

"Why should I care about what caused the Black Death?," you may ask. It is because what happened in the past may well happen in our future. Baillie shows in the book that the Black Death is not just an isolated event but part of a series of cataclysms caused by comets. And he is but one of the warning voices about this danger facing humanity. According to new research, notably by Victor Clube in The Cosmic Winter, the probability of cometary impact in a century period is very high. An example of it being the Tunguska impact at the early 20th century. Imagine what the effect would have been if that comet had landed on a city instead of a remote place.

So I would highly recommend this book to everyone to learn more about this subject. Acquiring knowledge is the first step in dealing with any threat, especially one with global implication like this. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
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