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Good Reads  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution

World Fire The Culture of Fire on Earth

By: Stephen J Pyne(Author), William Cronon(Foreword By)
384 pages, illustrations, maps
World Fire
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  • World Fire ISBN: 9780295975931 Paperback May 1997 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • World Fire ISBN: 9780805032475 Hardback Dec 1995 Out of Print #49938
Selected version: £25.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

Fascinating story of how fire and humans have coevolved. Pyne argues that the prevalence of humans is largely attributable to their control over fire, and the distribution and characteristics of fire have become deeply dependant on humans. More interestingly he explores the contemporary story of fire, a world of unsettled ecology, where there is too much fire in the wrong places and, thanks to unwarranted fire suppression, too little fire in the right places. If obsessive fire control continues it will further weaken the planet's regenerative powers.


Foreword by William Cronon
Preface to the 1997 Paperback Edition

The New World Order on Fire

Firestick History; or, How to Set the World on Fire

Fire Flume (Australia)
Veld Fire (South Africa)
Queimada Para Limpeza (Brazil)
Svedjebruk (Sweden)
Greek Fire (Greece)
La Nueva Reconquista (Iberia)
Red Skies of Irkutsk (Russia)
Nataraja (India)
White Darkness (Antarctica)

American Fire
- Initial Attac: The U.S. Forest Service Fights Fire
- Coldtrailing
Wilderness Fire
- Vestal Fires and Virgin Lands
- The Summer We Let Wild Fire Loose
Intermix Fire
- The Fire This Time
- Nouvelle Southwest

Consumed by Either Fire or Fire

Flame and Fortune

Notes and Additional Reading
Illustration sources and credits

Customer Reviews

By: Stephen J Pyne(Author), William Cronon(Foreword By)
384 pages, illustrations, maps
Media reviews

"Stephen J. Pyne writes about fire as if he were on fire, with searing, consuming heat and light. When he looks at fire he sees not biological catastrophe but social illumination and natural renewal [...] This book will change the way you view fire – and the way you see us routinely fighting it."
Seattle Times

"Pyne considers the evolution of fire in such diverse regions as Australia, Africa, Brazil, Sweden, Greece, Iberia, Russia, and India and then ponders Antarctica, the land without fire. As he examines changing techniques for and attitudes toward fire control, Pyne challenges our concepts of naturre and wilderness and explains why the study and management of fire have tremendous environmental, cultural, and political implications."

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