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.
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