Ted Steinberg Acts Of God Analysis

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Acts of God: Chapters 1-2 In Acts of God, Ted Steinberg uncovers, among other things, how natural disasters have come to be perceived as beyond human control. Steinberg contends that the book focuses on the environmental, cultural, and social history of natural disasters. The text also expands on the relationship between humans and natural disasters. Indeed, chapter one elaborates on the Mount Pelee attraction on Coney Island and the history of calamity in Charleston, South Carolina. In chapter one, there is a particular emphasis on the Charleston Earthquake of 1886. The text discusses the different perspectives that black and white individuals had about the 1886 earthquake and natural disasters in general. Steinberg asserts that white individuals perceived the quake as natural phenomena. In contrast, black individuals perceived the quake as an act of god. In chapter one, there is much emphasis on the economic impact of natural disasters. For …show more content…

The text asserts that there were no sweeping fires to blame, only the earthquake. This event led to the first major legislative initiative in California to recognize seismic issues: the Field Act of 1933. Steinberg contends that although this was a step in the right direction, seismic enlightenment was still difficult. The author notes that regardless of awareness, many built in areas vulnerable to harmful seismic activity (i.e. near fault lines). The author also states that California is not the only area prone to earthquakes and that typically the poor suffer more from these events wherever they happen. In summary, the first two chapters of Acts of God focus on disaster-prone parts of the U.S. and provides a critical foundation for understanding human-environmental interactions related to natural calamity – economic, social, cultural, and

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