The chief component of the Earth and the human body, water has been viewed in differing ways throughout history. The author of The Great Warming and Journey Through an Ancient Land examines the subject through three eras: the many millennia in which man treated the unpredictable liquid as a divinity; the Industrial Revolution, when water became a commodity to be exploited; and the present day, where rapid population growth threatens to deplete our supply of viable water. Archaeologist Brian Fagan suggests we may need to regain our ancestors' reverence for water in order to make the right decisions for our future.
"At a time of increasing threats of regional 'water wars,' Elixir provides crucial temporal depth and worldwide scope to an emerging water scarcity crisis that we can no longer ignore. Fagan's detailed examination of past use and abuse of water—highlighted by personal experience—makes his book not only a major source on the subject but, as usual, enjoyable reading."—R. Gwinn Vivian