Out of the Blue: A History of Lightning: Science, Superstition, and Amazing Stories of Survival (Paperback)

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The odds of being hit by lightning each year are only about 1 in 750,000 in the U.S. And yet this rare phenomenon has inspired both fear and fascination for thousands of years.

Herman Melville called it “God’s burning finger.” The ancient Romans feared it as the wrath of God. Today we have a more scientific understanding, so why our eternal fascination with lightning? Out of the Blue attempts to understand this towering force of nature, exploring the changing perceptions of lightning from the earliest civilizations through Benjamin Franklin’s revolutionary experiments to the hair-raising adventures of storm chasers like David Hoadley, who’s been chronicling extreme weather for half a century.

Combining captivating fact with thrilling personal stories, Out of the Blue tells a remarkable true tale of fate and coincidence, science and superstition. It is a book for sports enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, science and weather buffs, nature lovers, and anyone who has ever been awed or frightened by the sight of lightning.

About the Author

Beny J. Primm, MD, founded and headed for over forty years the Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation and for about thirty years the Urban Resource Institute. He served on the Presidential Commission on the HIV Epidemic and on the presidential council on HIV/AIDS; directed for the White House the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; and, as a founder, served on the National Minority AIDS Council and the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. John S. Friedman, journalist, book author (including "Out of the Blue: A History of Lightning"; and "The Secret Histories: Hidden Truths that Challenged the Past and Changed the World"), and Academy Award-winning documentary film producer, is an associate professor of media and communications at SUNY Old Westbury.

Praise For…

"When you see a TV meteorologist display a map of lightning strikes or see a picture of a lightning bolt, you are unwittingly being introduced to a new era in lightning research. Author John S. Friedman pans through time from ancient myths to scientists who are now delving through the mysteries which have surrounded this awesome and frightening subject. His greatest gift is painting a humanistic picture of a subject which has affected man since he began walking this earth."—Frank Field, TV weatherman

"Who would believe a book on lightning could be not only informative but fascinating reading? Friedman's Out of the Blue is both. He intersperses dozens of human-interest stories along with excellent research. Best of all, he writes as if he's sitting across the campfire and says, "Let me tell you about…"—Cecil Murphey, co-author of the New York Times bestseller, 90 Minutes in Heaven

“Intended for outdoor adventurers, sports enthusiasts, science and weather buffs, nature lovers and anyone who is awed or frightened by lightning…. Fascinating stories.”—Deseret Morning News

“Every outdoor enthusiast, weather buff or cruiser will be enthralled by these amazing stories that start with an instant, unexpected flash out of the blue.”—Southern Boating

“A fascinating account of electricity from the sky."—Sacramento Bee

Product Details
ISBN: 9780385341165
ISBN-10: 0385341164
Publisher: Delta
Publication Date: May 19th, 2009
Pages: 290
Language: English