Thursday, July 17, 2008

John Friedman (GSAS, '74) Explores Lightning In His Most Recent Book

NYU Alumnus John Friedman recently published a new book that explores the phenomenon of lightning. I encourage you to read it and send in your reviews and comments.

In this marvelous blend of science, history, and astonishing storytelling, an acclaimed journalist explores lightning from its meteorological origins to its profound influences on human beings across the globe.

John S. Friedman

Lightning has provoked fear and fascination in mankind for millennia. In OUT OF THE BLUE, John S. Friedman delivers an informative, entertaining scientific and cultural history of this spectacular and dangerous force of nature.

Since the earliest civilizations, people have tried to make sense of what Herman Melville called "God's burning finger." Friedman traces beliefs about lightning throughout history, and explores the famous experiments of scientists from Ben Franklin to Charles Steinmetz, who produced lightning in a lab. And Friedman rides with modern-day storm chasers, probing the roots of their risk-taking and the evolution of storm-tracking technology.

Friedman also talks with dozens of people who have been hit by lightning and lived to tell the tale. Sharing their fascinating, hair-raising stories, he reveals the life-altering medical, emotional, and often spiritual effect the experience has on survivors. Being struck by lightning almost invariably raises questions in their minds of destiny and divine retribution. And extraordinary coincidences are not uncommon. One man in Virginia has been struck seven times.

Combining captivating fact with thrilling personal stories, OUT OF THE BLUE is perfect for outdoor adventurers, nature lovers, science and weather buffs, and anyone who has ever been awed by the sight of a lightning bolt.

The Oscar-winning producer of the documentary "Hotel Terminus," JOHN S. FRIEDMAN has written for the New York Times and other publications, and contributes regularly to The Nation. The editor of The Secret Histories, he lives in Connecticut.

To purchase a copy of Out of the Blue, click here.

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