Searching for: "Simon Winchester"

  • Simon Winchester

    One of Library Journal’s 10 Best Books of 2015 Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times 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. 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. Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2018 Bestselling author Simon Winchester writes a magnificent history of the pioneering engineers who developed precision machinery to allow us to see as far as the moon and as close as the Higgs boson. Precision is the key to everything. It is an integral, unchallenged and essential component of our modern social, mercantile, scientific, mechanical and intellectual landscapes. The items we value in our daily lives – a camera, phone, computer, bicycle, car, a dishwasher perhaps – all sport components that fit together with precision and operate with near perfection. We also assume...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    The international bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa vividly brings to life the 1906San Francisco Earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion. Simon Winchester has also fashioned an enthralling and informative informative look at the tumultuous subterranean world that produces earthquakes, the planet's most sudden and destructive force. In the early morning hours of April 18, 1906, San Francisco and a string of towns to its north-northwest and the south-southeast were overcome by an enormous shaking that was compounded by the violent shocks of an earthquake, registering 8.25 on the Richter scale. The...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    Travelling the circumference of the truly gigantic Pacific, Simon Winchester tells the story of the world's largest body of water, and - in matters economic, political and military - the ocean of the future. The Pacific is a world of tsunamis and Magellan, of the Bounty mutiny and the Boeing Company. It is the stuff of the towering Captain Cook and his wide-ranging network of exploring voyages, Robert Louis Stevenson and Admiral Halsey. It is the place of Paul Gauguin and the explosion of the largest-ever American atomic bomb, on Bikini atoll, in 1951. It has an astonishing recent past, an uncertain present and a hugely important future. The ocean and its peoples are...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    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.  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...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    'Variably genial, cautionary, lyrical, admonitory, terrifying, horrifying and inspiring…A lifetime of thought, travel, reading, imagination and memory inform this affecting account.' —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Blending history and anecdote, geography and reminiscence, science and exposition, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester tells the breathtaking saga of the Atlantic Ocean. A gifted storyteller and consummate historian, Winchester sets the great blue sea's epic narrative against the backdrop of mankind's intellectual evolution, telling not only the story of an ocean, but the story of civilization. Fans of Winchester's Krakatoa, The Man Who Loved China, and The...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement—precision—in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future. The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools—machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors,...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    On a summer's day in 1858, in a garden behind Christ Church College in Oxford, Charles Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics, photographed six-year-old Alice Liddell, the daughter of the college dean, with a Thomas Ottewill Registered Double Folding camera, recently purchased in London. Simon Winchester deftly uses the resulting image--as unsettling as it is famous, and the subject of bottomless speculation--as the vehicle for a brief excursion behind the lens, a focal point on the origins of a classic work of English literature. Dodgson's love of photography framed his view of the world and was partly responsible for transforming a shy and half-deaf mathematician into one of the world's...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    Simon Winchester, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Atlantic and The Professor and the Madman, delivers his first book about America: a fascinating popular history that illuminates the men who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of the U.S.A. from its beginnings. How did America become “one nation, indivisible”? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America’s most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, such as Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys; the builders of the first...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    In sumptuous and illuminating detail, Simon Winchester, the bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman ('Elegant and scrupulous'—New York Times Book Review) and Krakatoa ('A mesmerizing page-turner'—Time) brings to life the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China, long the world's most technologically advanced country. No cloistered don, this tall, married Englishman was a freethinking intellectual, who practiced nudism and was devoted to a quirky brand of folk dancing. In 1937, while working as a biochemist at Cambridge University, he instantly fell in love with a...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    Originally published in 1985, "Outposts" is Simon Winchester's journey to find the vanishing empire, "on which the sun never sets." In this abridged audiobook, the author of "Krakatoa" and "Professor and the Madman" takes listeners on a quirky and charming tour of a distant and forgotten end of the...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth's most dangerous volcano -- Krakatoa. The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa -- the name has since become a byword for a cataclysmic disaster -- was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event that has only very recently been properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round die planet for years,...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    In sumptuous and illuminating detail Simon Winchester chronicles the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who turned his eccentric genius on the study of China. In 1937 Joseph Needham fell in love with a visiting Chinese student. He soon became fascinated by China, and his mistress persuaded him to travel to her home country. Thus began his undying passion for the world's most populous nation. Needham tackled one of the great, unanswered historical questions: Why did a nation that had invented so much and had enjoyed 5,000 years of flourishing civilization, fail to undergo an industrial revolution, and instead spend so many modern years mired in...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    From the author of the bestselling The Professor and the Madman comes the fascinating story of William Smith, the orphaned son of an English country blacksmith, who became obsessed with creating the world's first geological map and ultimately became the father of modern geology. In 1793 William Smith, a canal digger, made a startling discovery that was to turn the fledgling science of the history of the earth -- and a central plank of established Christian religion -- on its head. He noticed that the rocks he was excavating were arranged in layers; more important, he could see quite clearly that the fossils found in one layer were very different from those found in another. And...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    The compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary, 70 years in the making, was an intellectually heroic feat with a twist worthy of the greatest mystery fiction: one of its most valuable contributors was a criminally insane American physician, locked up in an English asylum for murder. British stage actor Simon Jones leads us through this uncommon meeting of minds (the other belonging to self-educated dictionary editor James Murray) at full gallop. Ultimately, it's hard to say which is more remarkable: the facts of this amazingly well-researched story, or the sound of author Simon Winchester's erudite prose. Jones's reading smoothly transports listeners to the 19th century, reminding us why...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    Award-winning journalist and author Simon Winchester takes readers on a personal tour of the Balkans. Combining history and interviews with the people who live there, Winchester offers a fascinating glimpse into the complex issues at work in this chaotic region. Unrest in the Balkans has gone on for centuries. A seasoned reporter, Winchester visited the region twenty years ago. When Kosovo reached crisis level in 1997, Winchester thought a return visit to the beleaguered area would help to make sense out of the awful violence. He decided to use Vienna and Istanbul, two great cities whose rivalries helped create the dynamics at work today, as the beginning and end points of his trip. Not...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    From the author of the bestselling The Professor and the Madman comes the fascinating story of the father of modern geology In 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head. While surveying the route for a canal near Bath, he noticed that the fossils found in one layer of the rocks he was excavating were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following these fossils one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped, rose and fell -- clear across England and clear across the world. Obsessed with creating a map that would showcase his...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    A New York Times Notable Book   The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary—and literary history. The making of the OED was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, was stunned to discover that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. But their surprise would pale in comparison to what they were about to discover when the committee insisted on honoring him. For Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an...read more

  • Simon Winchester

    The Murder, Mystery, and Madness of the OED The compiling of the Oxford English Dictionary was a monumental task. It took 50 years, even with the help of numerous contributors. Among the most prolific was William Chester Minor, who sent editor James Murray, thousands of extracts. On many occasions, Murray invited this mysterious correspondent to Oxford, but the invitation was always declined. Finally stirred by curiosity, Murray himself went to visit Minor. What he found was shocking; Minor lived in Broadmoor asylum. He was a millionaire, an expert on the English language, and a qualified surgeon, but he was imprisoned as a lunatic for...read more