The Big Ones by Lucy Jones

The Big Ones

By a veteran seismologist of the U.S. Geological Survey, a lively and revealing history of the world's most disruptive natural disasters, their impact on our culture, and new ways of thinking about the ones to comeNatural disasters emerge from the same forces that give our planet life. Earthquakes have provided us with natural springs. Volcanoes have given us fertile soil. A world without floods would be a world without rain. It is only when thes...

Details The Big Ones

TitleThe Big Ones
Release DateApr 17th, 2018
PublisherDoubleday Books
GenreNonfiction, Science, History, Environment, Nature

Reviews The Big Ones

  • Ross Blocher
    Dr. Lucy Jones covers a lot of ground in her quick and delightful The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them). It's one of those rare books in which the author is not only a lead authority on the topic at hand, but also a gifted explainer and storyteller. The Big Ones weaves the history of natural disasters, heroic individuals who helped survivors or pursued prevention, the physical forces involved, the scie...
  • Alex
    Very informative book. We don't receive this sort of information in public schools as youngsters, but should be more exposed more to what our planet really is. Reminds us of just how NOT in control we are. Takes a book such as this to bring home the facts, which we may gloss over in our daily lives. Highly recommended reading for all.
  • Marc
    I highly recommend this book to everyone, regardless of where you live and the disasters that might be most probable. Dr. Lucy Jones, the well-known seismologist, has written a very important argument for planning ahead to handle the natural disasters that are bound to affect us. By exploring the responses to disasters throughout history, she demonstrates how critical it is to be prepared and to think of the communities we are a part of and respo...
  • Ariel
    I super love natural disasters. I am, in fact, a supernatural disaster geek. (This stems from a life time of never actually having been in one.) So I saw this book on Edelweiss, and instantly clicked the "request it" button, and I'm very glad I did.It's great! It's a summation of some of the world's biggest natural disasters, but also how societies dealt with - and are still dealing with - them. It delves not only into who we are as humans, but a...
  • Mary Ann
    An excellent account of histories largest natural disasters and how we can prepare ourselves for “the big ones” in our future. Written by a senior seismologist who is now a science advisor for risk reduction.
  • Jill
    Fire and Ice by Robert FrostSome say the world will end in fire,Some say in ice.From what I’ve tasted of desireI hold with those who favor fire.But if it had to perish twice,I think I know enough of hateTo say that for destruction iceIs also greatAnd would suffice.Undoubtedly, The Voice of New England had the deeds of his fellow humans in mind, rather than so-called Acts of God, when he penned the above rumination in rhyme about a possible apoc...
  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them) by Lucy Jones is a highly recommended look at eleven of the world's greatest natural disasters. Dr. Jones tells the historical and geological stories of the selected disasters, and what they have revealed about the population effected. Each disaster covered was the "Big One"at the time it happened and fundamentally changed the community and culture in the region. T...
  • Marissa van Uden
    I don't often read a non-fiction book that's this absorbing on a storytelling level while also delivering interesting science, history and psychology. The author is all kinds of brilliant: She... - taught me so much about seismology I didn't know before, and inspired my renewed curiosity in it; - cured me of a few misconceptions I had (like, little earthquakes do not release the tension and prevent big earthquakes! WAT!); - taught me some terrify...
  • Diane Hernandez
    A history of disasters and a prediction of The Big Ones fill Dr. Jones' book.Containing a wealth of information about the science underlying disasters, The Big Ones is written in an informal and non-technical manner. From Pompeii and Iceland’s volcanos, to California's 1861 floods, to earthquakes in 1775 Lisbon, 1923 Japan, 2004 Sumatra and 2005 Hurricane Katrina, floods are surprisingly the most dangerous threat. Many people live through an ea...
  • Claudia
    Volcano - Earthquake/tsunami - Volcano - Flood - Earthquake - Flood - Earthquake - Earthquake/tsunami - Hurricane/flood - Earthquake - Earthquake/tsunami - the future. Each chapter focuses on the science behind the referenced disaster, what history knows about what happened, how the people reacted in the aftermath and what we could learn from it now.Disasters have come to fascinate humans. They can bring out the best in humanity as well as the wo...
  • Eric Sullenberger
    I enjoy geology a lot; right after space science it is probably my favorite science subject (although from a teaching perspective I prefer the hands-on nature of chemistry and physics). To me it seems that geology is a very accessible subject and it holds the interests of readers, and yet books on the topic are not as common as I would like. All of that to say- I am probably biased, but I really enjoyed this book. As an audiobook it was about 9 a...
  • Ethan
    An exploration of notable natural disasters in human history, the development of scientific inquiry to better understand them, and the kinds of lessons that can be learned from their aftermath.The author is the authority regarding earthquakes and their effects in Southern California. She has investigated all sorts of natural disasters, from Mount Vesuvius' destruction of Pompeii in 79 CE to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami 0f 2011, with all kind...
  • Linda
    Jones briefly recounts some of history's greatest disasters from the destruction of Pompeii to some less known, such as the 1861-62 Great Flood of California. But as 4th generation resident of Los Angeles and a seismologist, she has also worked with local governments to plan responses to disasters, mainly large earthquakes in California. So she has also studied the psychology that humans have always used to deal with such natural events and the g...
  • David Webber
    This book is neither a good history of the disasters it covers nor (mostly) a good discussion of the science behind them. She selected some intriguing events to discuss, but if you are looking for a good history of these disasters, then skip this. There are some bright points, especially in the earthquake science portions, where Ms. Jones is an expert. And I'm sure Ms. Jones is a talented scientist, but the narrative was all over the place. From ...
  • Jon
    A fascinating examination of how humans react to, and prepare for (or not), major natural disasters. The thing that's most striking is how quickly societies forget them. For example, Jones discusses at length a period of rain in California that created a hundreds-mile long lake that inundated the Central Valley and put Los Angeles and Orange Counties under several feet of water for a period of months. This didn't happen in prehistoric times, or 1...
  • Elentarri
    This book provides a superficial look at a few of the world's biggest natural disasters and how these disasters effected societies. Jones explores how the disaster victims and relevant governments dealt with the catastrophe and what they are doing to mitigate the adverse effects of any subsequent natural disasters. This is a history book with minimal, superficial science. The book is informative with an easy going writing style, however, I was ho...
  • Nicola
    A very interesting read about disasters, specifically with discussion about how humanity politically, sociologically and psychologically reacts to the randomness of natural disasters and why. Dr. Jones emphasizes the importance of science and communicating complex scientific information as a way to empower the public. She argues that if there is a void in information dissemination, it will be filled with untruths and pseudo science often driven b...
  • Lynn
    This is a very interesting and concise analysis of how natural disasters from Pompeii through Hurricane Katrina have shaped our understanding of life. The author begins and ends with the potential of a catastrophic San Andreas fault earthquake, which is near to her concerns since she lives in LA. Her main point is that disasters are unavoidable but we can do a better job than we do of preparing for them and reacting to them. Not only was the book...
  • Christopher
    Lucy Jones does a great job of shifting between story teller, historian and scientist in this book. It can be quite difficult to read about morbid events in human history that killed many people however I found Jones' approach to describing each event kept me interested and wanting to learn more without feeling terrible about the death and destruction. Furthermore, the nuggets of wisdom Jones was able to pull out of each event provides hope for d...
  • Eric
    The Big Ones is both engaging and digestible. It is written for a popular audience, but is not sensationalist. Jones does a good job highlighting the randomness of major disasters, explaining how humans have, throughout history, have struggled to find greater meaning in events devoid of meaning. Overall, an interesting read. I would have preferred it longer and with more technical details, but it was still worth my time.
  • James
    Natural disasters are fascinating. Human reactions to them, even more so.This book does a great job of explaining some major ones, including ones I'd never heard of before. It's easy reading, but doesn't skimp on valuable information and facts.Overall, I think all high school students should read this as an introduction to science in RL and how/why disasters happen. Definitely a worthwhile read!
  • B
    Dr. Jones is engaging, informative, and passionate throughout this book. I learned a lot from reading it, and really enjoyed the whole thing. You can feel in her words that she was put on this planet to make us all realize that while natural disasters bring out both the best and worst in all of us, we have the capacity and responsibility to ourselves and our fellow humans to choose to draw from the best while acknowledging but ignoring the worst.
  • Mark Bunch
    This one should be a required text in real estate programs in the USA. It gives the reader the required basic understanding on what make up a natural disaster- an event and a reaction- nature and humans,etc. Students of real estate will gain understanding of another aspect of land and cities, Written by a former USGS employee with strong academic credentials, this one is a must read.
  • Chad Kwiatkowski
    Excellent book that reshaped my thinking about natural disasters. Not only does she go into the geological aspects of major natural disasters that have shaped human history, she also addresses the human reaction, which is at various time inspiring, surprising, and despicable. Reads smoothly, maps are a bonus. Well worth a read for anyone!
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    I live in southern ca Lucy Jones is the face I see on tv when we have earthquakes.She is always calm informative and real.This book is a fascinating tour of natural disasters a real eye opener should be taught in schools.Fascinating for the lay person as well as scientists.Highly recommend,thanks to Doubleday & NetGalley for advance readers copy.
  • Melissa
    Listened to the audio. It is not often that a non-fiction book holds my attention long enough to read the whole thing, but I devoured this one. Extremely interesting, accessible, and thought-provoking.
  • Judy
    Excellent. There is a lot in here to think about and discuss. Not only is a history of major natural disasters, but also a history of how we deal with them and what we tell ourselves to makes sense of them, even if the stories we tell ourselves are self-defeating.
  • Carol Wakefield
    An overview of hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods The topics appeared to be well covered with scientific data alternating with personal experiences. Forget about earthquake prediction for now!
  • Falbs
    Incredible look at natural disasters and this woman has a real talent for storytelling. Living in California, I think about earthquakes a ton, and this book gave me a lot to think about. Highly recommended.
  • Judith
    Loved this book. It's very readable and brings up some very important points on how governments don't prepare for natural disasters.