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Writing with authority and brio, Giulio Boc­caletti - honorary research associate at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Univer­sity of Oxford - shrewdly combines environmental and social history, beginning with the earliest civ­ilizations of sedentary farmers on the banks of the Nile, the Tigris, and the Euphrates Rivers. Even as he describes how these societies were made possible by sea-level changes from the last glacial melt, he incisively examines how this type of farming led to irrigation and multiple cropping, which, in turn, led to a population explosion and labor specialization. We see with clarity how irrigation's structure informed social structure (inventions such as the calendar sprung from agricultural necessity) ; how in ancient Greece, the communal ownership of wells laid the groundwork for democracy; how the Greek and Roman experiences with water security resulted in systems of taxation; and how the modern world as we know it began with a legal framework for the development of water infrastructure.

About the Author

Giulio Boccaletti

Giulio Boccaletti, Ph.D., is a globally recognized expert on natural resource security and environmental sustainability. Trained as a physicist and climate scientist, he holds a doctorate from Princeton University, where he was a NASA Earth Systems Science Fellow. He has been a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a partner of McKinsey & Company, and the chief strategy officer of The Nature Conservancy, one of the largest environmental organizations in the world. He frequently writes on environmental issues for news media and has worked on documentaries that have been broadcast by PBS, BBC, Arte and many others. He is an expert contributor to the World Economic Forum, which named him one of its Young Global Leaders. He lives in London.

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