Buying Options

Digital List Price: $14.40
Kindle Price: $9.99

Save $18.01 (64%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Buy for others

Give as a gift or purchase for a team or group.Learn more

Buying and sending eBooks to others

Select quantity
Buy and send eBooks
Recipients can read on any device

Additional gift options are available when buying one eBook at a time.  Learn more

These ebooks can only be redeemed by recipients in the US. Redemption links and eBooks cannot be resold.

This item has a maximum order quantity limit.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Kindle App Ad
Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind by [Brian Fagan]
Audible Sample

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 28 ratings

See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from

Length: 416 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible book:
Audible book
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Add the Audible book for a reduced price of $7.49 when you buy the Kindle book.
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
    Windows Phone
  • Click here to download from Amazon appstore

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Amazon Business : For business-only pricing, quantity discounts and FREE Shipping. Register a free business account

Editorial Reviews


“As always with Mr. Fagan's work, the range is dazzling, the focus sharp and the pictures vivid...The author holds us with his glittering eye, as he conjures a vision of a world with water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” ―Wall Street Journal

“Juxtaposes ancient and contemporary cultures' veneration of water with the current commodification of it …Fagan is a passionate and lively writer.” ―Los Angeles Times

“… examines societies' relationships with water since ancient times, and describes how the advance of technology has led to unsustainable management and depletion of our most valuable resource.” ―Chronicle of Higher Education

“It is hard to imagine industrial societies regaining some sense of water as sacred. The best we might hope for in the near term is a new-found respect for water. Reading Fagan's book is an enjoyable way of gaining that respect, by taking a tour through the hard-won lessons of the past.” ―Nature Climate Change

“Eye-opening….making sense of water and its place in the development of civilization....[Fagan] understands how the ancients struggled with changing climate and that what matters has always been the fluctuating availability of water, rather than shifting temperatures. That is an important lesson for us now.” ―Washington Post

“Supplying intriguing historical background, Fagan well informs those pondering freshwater's role in contemporary environmental problems.” ―Booklist

“Important and, from a New York Times best-selling author, accessible to all.” ―Library Journal

“Fagan prompts an appreciation of water's centrality to civilization and of human ingenuity.” ―Publishers Weekly

“A rewarding survey of water's role in history and contemporary politics alike.” ―Kirkus

“Not just a fascinating book, but also an important one… [a] marvelous history… Don't take water or Elixir for granted. Give this important book a read--and then maybe send a copy to your local representative or senator.” ―Mother Nature Network

“At a time of increasing threats of regional ‘water wars,' Elixir provides crucial temporal depth and worldwide scope to an emerging water scarcity crisis that we can no longer ignore. Fagan's detailed examination of past use and abuse of water--highlighted by personal experience--makes his book not only a major source on the subject but, as usual, enjoyable reading.” ―R. Gwinn Vivian, curator emeritus of archaeology, Arizona State Museum, author of The Chaco Handbook

“[Fagan] is a beguiling writer and his lessons from global experience are both refreshing and sobering.” ―Daily Express (UK)

“A comprehensive look at the history of water control… there are places on the earth today where our water control systems are breaking down, and most of us don't yet recognize how devastating the effects of that will be. Elixir helps that realization… This book is one of the best pop science books I've read in a long time…there is much to reread and contemplate.” ―

About the Author

Brian Fagan is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Cro-Magnon, the New York Times bestseller The Great Warming, and many other books, including Fish on Friday: Feasting, Fasting and the Discovery of the New World and several books on climate history, including The Little Ice Age and The Long Summer.

Product details

Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5
28 customer ratings
How does Amazon calculate star ratings?
Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2013
Verified Purchase
Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2012
Verified Purchase
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2013
Verified Purchase
Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2014
Verified Purchase
Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2013
Verified Purchase
Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2015
Verified Purchase
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2013
Verified Purchase
8 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2014
Verified Purchase