This Gulf of Fire

The Destruction of Lisbon, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason

Author: Mark Molesky

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101875828

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 3296

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Winner of the Phi Alpha Theta Best Subsequent Book Award Finalist: Los Angeles Times Book Prize The captivating and definitive account of the most consequential natural disaster of modern times. On All Saints’ Day 1755, tremors from an earthquake measuring perhaps 9.0 (or higher) on the moment magnitude scale swept furiously from their origin along the Atlantic seabed toward the Iberian and African coasts. Directly in their path was Lisbon, then one of the wealthiest cities in the world and the capital of a vast global empire. Within minutes, much of the city lay in ruins. But this was only the beginning. A half hour later, a giant tsunami unleashed by the quake smashed into Portugal’s coastline and barreled up the Tagus River, carrying countless thousands out to sea. By day’s end, the great wave chain would claim victims on four separate continents. To complete Lisbon’s destruction, a hellacious firestorm then engulfed the city’s shattered remains. Subjecting survivors to temperatures exceeding 1,832°F (1,000°C), it burned for several weeks, killing thousands and incinerating much of what the earthquake and tsunami had spared. Drawing on a wealth of new sources, the latest scientific research, and a sophisticated grasp of European history, Mark Molesky gives us the authoritative account of the Great Lisbon Disaster and its impact on the Western world—including descriptions of the world’s first international relief effort; the rise of a brutal, yet modernizing, dictatorship in Portugal; and the effect of the disaster on the spirit and direction of the European Enlightenment. Much more than a chronicle of destruction, This Gulf of Fire is, at its heart, a gripping human drama, involving an array of unforgettable characters—such as the Marquês de Pombal, the once-slighted striver who sees in the chaos his path to supreme power, and Gabriel Malagrida, the charismatic Jesuit whose view that the earthquake was a punishment sent by God leads inexorably to his demise. There is Dom José, the unremarkable king of Portugal, who stands by his people in their moment of greatest need but ultimately abandons them to the tyranny of his first minister. There is Kitty Witham, the plucky English nun who helps her fellow sisters escape from their collapsing convent, and Manoel Portal, the Oratorian priest who flees the burning capital on his broken leg and goes on to write one of the definitive accounts of the disaster. Philosophers, kings, poets, emperors, scientists, scoundrels, journalists, and monkeys all make their appearance in this remarkable narrative of the mid-eighteenth century. From the Hardcover edition.
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A Vietnamese Moses

Philiphe Binh and the Geographies of Early Modern Catholicism

Author: George E. Dutton

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520293436

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 1758

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A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. A Vietnamese Moses is the story of Philiphê Binh, a Vietnamese Catholic priest who in 1796 traveled from Tonkin to the Portuguese court in Lisbon to persuade its ruler to appoint a bishop for his community of ex-Jesuits. Based on Binh’s surviving writings from his thirty-seven-year exile in Portugal, this book examines how the intersections of global and local Roman Catholic geographies shaped the lives of Vietnamese Christians in the early modern era. The book also argues that Binh’s mission to Portugal and his intense lobbying on behalf of his community reflected the agency of Vietnamese Catholics, who vigorously engaged with church politics in defense of their distinctive Portuguese-Catholic heritage. George E. Dutton demonstrates the ways in which Catholic beliefs, histories, and genealogies transformed how Vietnamese thought about themselves and their place in the world. This sophisticated exploration of Vietnamese engagement with both the Catholic Church and Napoleonic Europe provides a unique perspective on the complex history of early Vietnamese Christianity.
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Disasters: Core Concepts and Ethical Theories

Author: Dónal P. O’Mathúna,Vilius Dranseika,Bert Gordijn

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319927221

Category: Philosophy

Page: 244

View: 9158

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This Open Access Book is the first to examine disasters from a multidisciplinary perspective. Justification of actions in the face of disasters requires recourse both to conceptual analysis and ethical traditions. Part 1 of the book contains chapters on how disasters are conceptualized in different academic disciplines relevant to disasters. Part 2 has chapters on how ethical issues that arise in relation to disasters can be addressed from a number of fundamental normative approaches in moral and political philosophy. This book sets the stage for more focused normative debates given that no one book can be completely comprehensive. Providing analysis of core concepts, and with real-world relevance, this book should be of interest to disaster scholars and researchers, those working in ethics and political philosophy, as well as policy makers, humanitarian actors and intergovernmental organizations..
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Quakeland

On the Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake

Author: Kathryn Miles

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698411463

Category: Nature

Page: 368

View: 7589

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A journey around the United States in search of the truth about the threat of earthquakes leads to spine-tingling discoveries, unnerving experts, and ultimately the kind of preparations that will actually help guide us through disasters. It’s a road trip full of surprises. Earthquakes. You need to worry about them only if you’re in San Francisco, right? Wrong. We have been making enormous changes to subterranean America, and Mother Earth, as always, has been making some of her own. . . . The consequences for our real estate, our civil engineering, and our communities will be huge because they will include earthquakes most of us do not expect and cannot imagine—at least not without reading Quakeland. Kathryn Miles descends into mines in the Northwest, dissects Mississippi levee engineering studies, uncovers the horrific risks of an earthquake in the Northeast, and interviews the seismologists, structual engineers, and emergency managers around the country who are addressing this ground shaking threat. As Miles relates, the era of human-induced earthquakes began in 1962 in Colorado after millions of gallons of chemical-weapon waste was pumped underground in the Rockies. More than 1,500 quakes over the following seven years resulted. The Department of Energy plans to dump spent nuclear rods in the same way. Evidence of fracking’s seismological impact continues to mount. . . . Humans as well as fault lines built our “quakeland”. What will happen when Memphis, home of FedEx's 1.5-million-packages-a-day hub, goes offline as a result of an earthquake along the unstable Reelfoot Fault? FEMA has estimated that a modest 7.0 magnitude quake (twenty of these happen per year around the world) along the Wasatch Fault under Salt Lake City would put a $33 billion dent in our economy. When the Fukushima reactor melted down, tens of thousands were displaced. If New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant blows, ten million people will be displaced. How would that evacuation even begin? Kathryn Miles’ tour of our land is as fascinating and frightening as it is irresistibly compelling.
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Culture of Enlightening

Abbé Claude Yvon and the Entangled Emergence of the Enlightenment

Author: Jeffrey D. Burson

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess

ISBN: 0268105448

Category: History

Page: 600

View: 1015

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Recent scholarly and popular attempts to define the Enlightenment, account for its diversity, and evaluate its historical significance suffer from a surprising lack of consensus at a time when the social and political challenges of today cry out for a more comprehensive and serviceable understanding of its importance. This book argues that regnant notions of the Enlightenment, the Radical Enlightenment, and the multitude of regional and religious enlightenments proposed by scholars all share an entangled intellectual genealogy rooted in a broader revolutionary "culture of enlightening" that took shape over the long-arc of intellectual history from the waning of the sixteenth-century Reformations to the dawn of the Atlantic Revolutionary era. Generated in competition for a changing readership and forged in dialog and conflict, dynamic and diverse notions of what it meant to be enlightened constituted a broader culture of enlightening from which the more familiar strains of the Enlightenment emerged, often ironically and accidentally, from originally religious impulses and theological questioning. By adapting, for the first time, methodological insights from the scholarship of historical entanglement (l'histoire croisée) to the study of the Enlightenment, this book provides a new interpretation of the European republic of letters from the late 1600s through the 1700s by focusing on the lived experience of the long-neglected Catholic theologian, historian, and contributor to Diderot's Encyclopédie, Abbé Claude Yvon. The ambivalent historical memory of Yvon, as well as the eclectic and global array of his sources and endeavors, Burson argues, can serve as a gauge for evaluating historical transformations in the surprisingly diverse ways in which eighteenth-century individuals spoke about enlightening human reason, religion, and society. Ultimately, Burson provocatively claims that even the most radical fruits of the Enlightenment can be understood as the unintended offspring of a revolution in theology and the cultural history of religious experience.
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