It has been nearly two decades since Brian Fagan’s The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History (New York, 2001) last synthesized that topic for a popular audience. In the meantime, research in climate history has made major strides. Paleoclimatology and historical climatology have added new methods. Climate history has extended to new regions and periods, and its specialists have posed novel arguments about climate impacts, perceptions, and adaptations. The field has been waiting for the book that can fuse these insights and meet a public need for historical perspective on climate change.

Nature’s Mutiny is not that book. Despite the title, Blom has only used the Little Ice Age (lia) as a quick backdrop for vignettes about seventeenth-century European culture. Whatever the merits of this approach for dramatizing a period of European intellectual transformation, readers of the Journal of Interdisciplinary History will come away disappointed.

The prologue...

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