Siroccos, Santa Anas, chinooks, monsoons ... the wind has as many names as moods. Few other forces have so universally shaped the lands and waters of the earth and the patterns of exploration, settlement, and civilization. Few other phenomena have exerted such a profound influence on the history and psyche of humankind. In Wind, Jan DeBlieu brings a poet's voice and a scientist's eye to this remarkable natural force, showing how the bumping of a few molecules can lead to the creation of religions, the discovery of continents, and the destruction of empires. She talks to survivors of a deadly tornado in Iowa, tries hang gliding over North Carolina's Outer Banks, climbs sand dunes in Oregon and slickrock formations in Utah--everywhere exploring the effects, subtle and brutal, comforting and terrifying, of the wind.