When the forces that give our planet life exceed our ability to withstand them, they become disasters. Together they have shaped our cities and architecture, elevated leaders and toppled governments, influenced the way we think, feel, fight, unite and pray. The history of natural disasters is a history of ourselves. The Big Ones investigates some of the most impactful natural disasters, and how their reverberations are still felt today. From a volcanic eruption in Pompeii challenging and reinforcing prevailing views of religion, through the California floods of 1862 and the limitations of memory, to what Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami can tell us about governance and globalisation. With temperatures rising around the world, natural disasters are striking with ever greater frequency. More than just history or science, The Big Ones is a call to action. Natural hazards are inevitable; human catastrophes are not With this energising and richly-researched book, Jones offers a look at our past, readying us to face down the Big Ones in our future.