Books : reviews

David A. Hardy, John B. Murray.
The Fires Within: volcanoes on Earth and other planets.
Dragon's World. 1991

Volcanoes have been part of the Earth since its very creation and have since played a major role in shaping it. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that human beings owe their existence to volcanic activity, for the crust of the Earth, the water that forms our oceans, lakes and rivers, and the bulk of our atmosphere originated in volcanic eruptions.

People have long been attracted to the dramatic and terrible beauty of volcanoes, but their study is a relatively new area of science. As this exciting book reveals, much still remains to be discovered, but the boundaries of knowledge are being extended all the time. Now, from the safety of your armchair, you can take an exhilarating glimpse into the crater of an active volcano.

With superb paintings and clear, accessible text The Fires Within explains the phenomenon of volcanoes and reveals the fascination they have exerted over the centuries. It presents firsthand accounts of ancient and modern eruptions, examines the mythology surrounding them, describes their inner workings and outer effects, and looks at the various ways in which their immense power can be controlled and exploited. This is a book to inform and fascinate – a compelling read for all those who wish to know more about the forces that shape life on Earth.