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Title:The Map that Changed the World: William Smith & the Birth of Modern Geology
Format Type:Ebook
Author:
Publisher:HarperCollins
ISBN:0060193611
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:329
Category:History, Non fiction, Science, Biography, Geology, Geography

The Map that Changed the World: William Smith & the Birth of Modern Geology by Simon Winchester, Soun Vannithone

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The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, A Crack in the Edge of the World, The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom, The Map That Changed the World, The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze & Back in Chinese Time, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers
Following his acclaimed em Atlantic em and em The Men Who United the States New York Times em bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature br br As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow With China on the rise so too are the American cities of the West coast including Seattle San Francisco and the long cluster of towns down the Silicon Valley br br Today the Pacific is ascendant Its geological history has long transformed us tremendous earthquakes volcanoes and tsunamis but its human history from a Western perspective is quite young beginning with Magellan s sixteenth century circumnavigation It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made br br In telling the story of the Pacific Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila visits aboriginals in northern Queensland and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego the land at the end of the world His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor br br Winchester s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none And his historical understanding of the region is formidable making em Pacific em a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty myth and imagination that is transforming our lives, b The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Atlantic delivers his first book about America a fascinating look at the men whose efforts and achievements helped unify the States and create one cohesive nation b br br History is rarely as charming and entertaining as when it s told by Simon Winchester New York Times Book Review br br For more than two centuries E pluribus unum Out of many one has been featured on America s official government seals and stamped on its currency But how did America become one nation indivisible What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today In this monumental history Simon Winchester addresses these questions bringing together the breathtaking achievements that helped forge and unify America and the pioneers who have toiled fearlessly to discover connect and bond the citizens and geography of the U S A from its beginnings br br Winchester follows in the footsteps of America s most essential explorers thinkers and innovators including Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery Expedition to the Pacific Coast the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System He treks vast swaths of territory from Pittsburgh to Portland Rochester to San Francisco Truckee to Laramie Seattle to Anchorage introducing these fascinating men and others some familiar some forgotten some hardly known who played a pivotal role in creating today s United States Throughout he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded and to what degree br br Featuring illustrations throughout the text The Men Who United the States is a fresh lively and erudite look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together from one of our most entertaining probing and insightful observers, From the best selling author of The Professor and the Madman The Map That Changed the World and Krakatoa comes a truly wonderful celebration of the English language and of its unrivaled treasure house the Oxford English Dictionary br Writing with marvelous brio Winchester first serves up a lightning history of the English language so vast so sprawling so wonderfully unwieldy and pays homage to the great dictionary makers from the irredeemably famous Samuel Johnson to the short pale smug and boastful schoolmaster from New Hartford Noah Webster He then turns his unmatched talent for story telling to the making of this most venerable of dictionaries In this fast paced narrative the reader will discover lively portraits of such key figures as the brilliant but tubercular first editor Herbert Coleridge grandson of the poet the colorful boisterous Frederick Furnivall who left the project in a shambles and James Augustus Henry Murray who spent a half century bringing the project to fruition Winchester lovingly describes the nuts and bolts of dictionary making how unexpectedly tricky the dictionary entry for marzipan was or how fraternity turned out so much longer and monkey so much more ancient than anticipated and how bondmaid was left out completely its slips found lurking under a pile of books long after the B volume had gone to press We visit the ugly corrugated iron structure that Murray grandly dubbed the Scriptorium the Scrippy or the Shed as locals called it and meet some of the legion of volunteers from Fitzedward Hall a bitter hermit obsessively devoted to the OED to W C Minor whose story is one of dangerous madness ineluctable sadness and ultimate redemption br The Meaning of Everything is a scintillating account of the creation of the greatest monument ever erected to a living language Simon Winchester s supple vigorous prose illuminates this dauntingly ambitious project a seventy year odyssey to create the grandfather of all word books the world s unrivalled uber dictionary, In a canal digger named William Smith made a startling discovery He found that by tracing the placement of fossils which he uncovered in his excavations one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell clear across England and indeed clear across the world making it possible for the first time ever to draw a chart of the hidden underside of the earth Determined to expose what he realized was the landscape s secret fourth dimension Smith spent twenty two years piecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand painted map But instead of receiving accolades and honors he ended up in debtors prison the victim of plagiarism and virtually homeless for ten years more Finally in this quiet genius now known as the father of modern geology received the Geological Society of London s highest award and King William IV offered him a lifetime pension br br i The Map That Changed the World i is a very human tale of endurance and achievement of one man s dedication in the face of ruin With a keen eye and thoughtful detail Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world changing discovery