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Divided by continent, YOU ARE HERE represents one (idealized) orbit of the ISS. This planetary photo tour -- surprising, playful, thought-provoking, and visually delightful -- is also punctuated with fun, fascinating commentary on life in zero gravity. In the spirit of his bestselling "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth," YOU ARE HERE opens a singular window on our planet, using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence (and wit) of never-before-noticed landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.
Just as the Anglo-Canadian forces in the east found it difficult to advance beyond Caen after D-Day, so the US First Army laboured to advance through the Norman bocage country in the west. The lethal struggle that developed there was a defining episode in the Normandy campaign, and this photographic history is a vivid introduction to it. Through a selection of over 150 carefully chosen and meticulously captioned wartime photographs Simon Forty traces the course of the battle and gives the reader a graphic impression of the conditions, the terrain and the experience of the troops. The Germans mounted a tenacious defence. They fought from prepared positions in the high hedgerows. Each cramped field and narrow lane became a killing ground. But the Americans adapted their tactics and brought in special equipment including bulldozers and tanks with hedgerow cutters to force their way through. The losses were appalling as the Germans used snipers, mines, machineguns and artillery to great effect. Inexorably, however, and with enormous bravery, First Army solved their tactical problems, inflicted heavy casualties on the defenders and ground their way to Saint-L .
Opening with an essay by Mikhail Gorbachev, the last head of state of the Soviet Union, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, this is a deeply personal journey into a landscape forever changed. National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig, made nine visits to Chernobyl over a period of 20 years; this is his powerful record of an environmental and human tragedy. Through the perspective of the victims living with the emotional and physical aftermath, to the Exclusion Zone created by a massive evacuation (more than 350,000 people by the year 2000), to the abandoned neighboring city of Pripyat, once a scientist's dream in terms of quality of life yet now uninhabitable, it is a record of almost unbelievable suffering and desolation. Working under enormous time and radiation pressure, Ludwig ventures deeper into the belly of the beast than any other photographer, repeatedly documenting the destroyed reactor No.4, which will disappear under a New Safe Confinement for at least 100 years. This book does not always make for easy viewing. It is however, an emotive, thought-provoking and necessary testament to one of the twentieth century's worst nuclear disasters. Using documents that until recently have been classified, from the CIA, U.S Government Foreign Press Monitoring, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, GAO and United States Congress of the disaster, it becomes an even more important voice in the continuing political, environmental and economic arguments around the safety of using nuclear energy, particularly in light of the Fukushima disaster in Japan twenty-five years later.
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