Mountains of Fire: The Menace, Meaning, and Magic of Volcanoes (Hardcover)

Mountains of Fire: The Menace, Meaning, and Magic of Volcanoes By Clive Oppenheimer Cover Image

Mountains of Fire: The Menace, Meaning, and Magic of Volcanoes (Hardcover)


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Meeting with volcanoes around the world, a volcanologist decodes their messages for human civilization and the planet.
In Mountains of Fire, Clive Oppenheimer invites readers to stand with him in the shadow of an active volcano. Whether he is peering from the crater’s edge, climbing toward the summit, or hunting for the far-flung deposits of Earth's greatest eruptions, Oppenheimer is an ideal guide, offering readers the chance to tag along on the daring, seemingly-impossible journeys of a volcanologist.

In his eventful career as a volcanologist and filmmaker, Oppenheimer has studied volcanoes around the world. He has worked with researchers in North Korea to study Mount Paektu, a volcano name sung in national anthems on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone. He has ventured through Chad to the Tibesti Mountains to study the fabled Tiéroko volcano. He has voyaged south to the hottest place on the coldest continent, studying gases emitted from Antarctica’s Mount Erebus.

Mountains of Fire reveals how volcanic activity is entangled with our climate and environment, as well as our economy, politics, culture, and beliefs. These adventures and investigations make clear the dual purpose of volcanology—both to understand volcanoes for science’s sake and to serve the communities endangered and entranced by these mountains of fire. 
Clive Oppenheimer is a volcanologist and filmmaker who has conducted fieldwork around the world. He is Professor of Volcanology at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Eruptions that Shook the World, and he has made two documentary features with legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog, Into the Inferno and Fireball.
Product Details ISBN: 9780226826349
ISBN-10: 0226826341
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: September 29th, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English
“Beautiful. Mountains of Fire is bursting with poetry, with storytelling. Clive is one of the rarest of men driven by nomadism, courage, and curiosity. What he studies, volcanic eruptions, are in the rank of things that are mighty, grave, and great. Like a magma eruption, his wonderful prose even spills over into footnotes at the end. Normally, such notes are tucked away, because they are boring and pedantic, but here they are as readable and exciting as the book itself.”
— Werner Herzog, film director and producer

"I absolutely loved this book—it's so full of passion, wonderment, philosophy, anthropology and most of all volcanoes! It ignited my mind and delighted my imagination. I loved the deep and poignant connections between history, meaning and people, but it’s Clive Oppenheimer’s dazzling charisma and thrilling experiences that infuse this book with an energy befitting our planet’s most powerful force."
— Sara Dosa, director of the Academy Award-nominated film "Fire of Love"

"Through a global tour of some of the world’s most fascinating volcanoes, Oppenheimer highlights the scientific insights from, and social impacts of, various eruptions. From North Korea to Antarctica to the Caribbean, he brings the reader along with extraordinary access onto the very flanks of volcanoes. Oppenheimer’s deep knowledge of these mountains of fire, combined with his eye for detail and his deep respect for those living alongside volcanoes, yields a thoroughly delightful and accessible exploration of these geological wonders."
— Alexandra Witze, science journalist and coauthor (with Jeff Kanipe) of "Island on Fire"