How a cycle of rain, cold, disease, and warfare created the worst famine in European history--years before the Black Death In May 1315, it started to rain. For the seven disastrous years that followed, Europeans would be visited by a series of curses unseen since the third book of Exodus: floods, ice, failures of crops and cattle, and epidemics not just of disease, but of pike, sword, and spear. All told, six million lives--one-eighth of Europe's total population--would be lost. With a category-defying knowledge of science and history, William Rosen tells the stunning story of the oft-overlooked Great Famine with wit and drama and demonstrates what it all means for today's discussions of climate change.
WILLIAM ROSEN, a former editor and publisher at Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and The Free Press, is the author of "Justinian's Flea "and "The Most Powerful Idea in the World." He lives in New Jersey.