Epidemiology plays an all-important role in many areas of medicine, from discovering the relationship between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, to documenting the impact of diet, the environment, and exercise on general health, to tracking the origin and spread of new epidemics such as Swine Flu. It is truly a vital field, central to the health of society, but it is often poorly understood, largely due to misrepresentations in the media.
The Roman Empire was a remarkable achievement. It had a population of 60 million people spread across lands encircling the Mediterranean and stretching from northern England to the sun-baked banks of the Euphrates, and from the Rhine to the North African coast. It was, above all else, an empire of force–employing a mixture of violence, suppression, order, and tactical use of power to develop an astonishingly uniform culture.
Memories are an integral part of being human. They haunt us, we cherish them, and in our lives we collect more of them with each new experience. Without memory, you would not be able to maintain a relationship, drive your car, talk to your children, read a poem, watch television, or do much of anything at all. Memory: A Very Short Introduction explores the fascinating intricacies of human memory.
Rivers have acted as cradles for civilization and agents of disaster; a river may be a barrier or a highway, it can support trade and sediment, culture and conflict. This Very Short Introduction is a celebration of rivers in all their diversity. Geographer Nick Middleton covers a wide and eclectic range of river-based themes, from physical geography to mythology, to industrial history and literary criticism. Offering a truly global look at rivers, with examples from all continents, including Egypt, India, and Bangladesh, Middleton considers the role that rivers have played in human history from settlements and trade to warfare, and also looks at the human impact upon rivers by the construction of dams and cutting of channels.