This revealing book synthesizes research from many fields to offer the first complete history of the roles played by weather and climate in American life from colonial times to the present. Author William B. Meyer characterizes weather events as neutral phenomena that are inherently neither hazards nor resources, but can become either depending on the activities with which they interact. Meyer documents the ways in which different kinds of weather throughout history have represented hazards and resources not only for such exposed outdoor pursuits as agriculture, warfare, transportation, construction, and recreation, but for other realms of life ranging from manufacturing to migration to human health. He points out that while the weather and climate by themselves have never determined the course of human events, their significance as been continuously altered for better and for worse by the evolution of American life.
William B. Meyer is Associate Professor of Geography at Colgate University. He is the author of Author of Human Impact on the Earth and The Environmental Advantages of Cities: Countering Commonsense Antiurbanism.
Introduction ; Ch. 1 Climate, Cultures, and Founding Myths ; Ch. 2 Antebellum America ; Ch. 3 Postbellum America ; Ch. 4 Founding America ; Ch. 5 Since 1945: New Amernities, New Hazards ; Conclusion ; Afterword ; Notes ; Index