Tambora: Travels to Sumbawa and the Mountain that Changed the World
Awards for: Tambora: Travels to Sumbawa and the Mountain that Changed the Earth Winner: Territory Read Best Non-Fiction Book 2016 Finalist: Chief Minister's Book of the Year, 2016 Tambora: Travels to Sumbawa and the Mountain that Changed the World.
This is a history and a travelogue to Sumbawa, Indonesia, released on the eve of the bicentenary of the largest eruption in recorded history – Mt Tambora with a VEI of 7 was ten times the size of the more famous Krakatau. It erupted on 10th April 1815 with dramatic impact on the East Indies and across the world: it changed the global climate for at least three years (known as the “Year Without Summer”) and the world reeled from its long lasting effects: more than 100,000 Indonesians died from the event or from the disease and famine that followed: millions were affected worldwide through starvation, disease and death; it caused the total the destruction of the Tamboran culture, language and people; massive European emigration; numerous floods and/or droughts; religious fervour and the creation of a new religion; the invention of the bicycle; the ‘westward ho!” wagon trains in the US; magnificent art; the birth of science fiction and Frankenstein; widespread riots and political instability; coloured snow and frosts in mid-summer.
The author outlines the history of this largely unknown mountain, travels to Sumbawa and watches four year old jockeys racing horses, wades knee deep through a million jellyfish, meets royalty and unintelligible surfers and climbs the mountain and discusses the effects of world climate change on a population that is far from ready, even today.
Review: "Derek Pugh's Tambora is the kind of book we can never get enough of - an enthusiast taking us into enthusiasms with admirable knowledge and brio. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein's Indonesian connection - how the victory of Waterloo was soured by and Indonesian volcano - you'll leave Tambora with a wider and livelier idea of how history and the world actually work."