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Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century

By Geoffrey Parker

Yale University Press, 2013, 904 pp.

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change, and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century. By Geoffrey Parker. Yale University Press, 2013, 904 pp. $40.00.

Reflecting on the “misery and misfortune” he had witnessed during the Thirty Years’ War, Caspar Preis, a German farmer, was sure that “no one living in a better age would believe it.” From 1618 to 1648, the population of Germany fell by as much as 40 percent. Roughly four million people were killed in the wars between Catholic and Protestant princes; many others died of starvation or disease; still others fled their homes in search of safety. The misery was worst in the 1640s, when

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  • DEBORAH R. COEN is Associate Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University, and the author of The Earthquake Observers: Disaster Science From Lisbon to Richter.
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