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Title:The Map that Changed the World: William Smith & the Birth of Modern Geology
Format Type:Ebook
Author:Simon Winchester, Soun Vannithone
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 Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

With riveting insight and detail Simon Winchester crafts a fascinating glimpse into one man s tortured mind and his contribution to another man s magnificent dictionary br br It is known as one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in took seventy years to complete drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds and organized the sprawling language into precise definitions But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking br br Professor James Murray an astonishingly learned former schoolmaster and bank clerk was the distinguished editor of the OED project Dr William Chester Minor an American surgeon from New Haven Connecticut who had served in the Civil War was one of the thousands of contributors who submitted illustrative quotations of words to be used in the dictionary But Minor was no ordinary contributor He was remarkably prolific sending thousands of neat handwritten quotations from his home in the small village of Crowthorne fifty miles from Oxford On numerous occasions Murray invited Minor to visit Oxford and celebrate his work but Murray s offer was regularly and mysteriously refused br br Thus the two men for two decades maintained a close relationship only through correspondence Finally in after Minor had sent nearly ten thousand definitions to the dictionary but had still never traveled from his home a puzzled Murray set out to visit him It was then that Murray finally learned the truth about Minor that in addition to being a masterful wordsmith Minor was also a murderer clinically insane and locked up in Broadmoor England s harshest asylum for criminal lunatics br br i The Professor and the Madman i is an extraordinary tale of madness and genius and the incredible obsessions of two men at the heart of the Oxford English Dictionary and literary history With riveting insight and detail Simon Winchester crafts a fascinating glimpse into one man s tortured mind and his contribution to another man s magnificent dictionary


Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded

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 br br The legendary annihilation in 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 the planet for years causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with lurid and unsettling displays of light The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France Barometers in Bogot and Washington D C went haywire Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar The sound of the island s destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away Most significant of all in view of today s new political climate the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims one of the first outbreaks of Islamic inspired killings anywhere br br Simon Winchester s long experience in the world wandering as well as his knowledge of history and geology give us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event as he brings it telling back to life


The Map That Changed the World

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


A Crack in the Edge of the World

Unleashed by ancient geologic forces a magnitude earthquake rocked San Francisco in the early hours of April Less than a minute later the city lay in ruins Bestselling author Simon Winchester brings his inimitable storytelling abilities to this extraordinary event exploring the legendary earthquake and fires that spread horror across San Francisco and northern California in as well as its startling impact on American history and just as important what science has recently revealed about the fascinating subterranean processes that produced it and almost certainly will cause it to strike again br br


The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

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


The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom

In illuminating detail Winchester bestselling author of em The Professor amp the Madman em Elegant amp scrupulous em NY Times Book Review em amp em Krakatoa em A mesmerizing page turner em Time em tells the story of Joseph Needham the Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China long the world s most technologically advanced country br No cloistered don this tall married Englishman was a freethinking intellectual A nudist he was devoted to quirky folk dancing In while working as a biochemist at Cambridge he fell in love with a visiting Chinese student with whom he began a lifelong affair His mistress persuaded him to travel to her home country where he embarked on a series of expeditions to the frontiers of the ancient empire He searched for evidence to bolster a conviction that the Chinese were responsible for hundreds of humankind s most familiar innovations including printing the compass explosives suspension bridges even toilet paper often centuries before others His journeys took him across war torn China consolidating his admiration for the Chinese After the war he determined to announce what he d discovered amp began writing em Science amp Civilisation in China em describing the country s long history of invention amp technology By the time he died he d produced almost single handedly volumes making him the greatest one man encyclopedist ever br Epic amp intimate em The Man Who Loved China em tells the sweeping story of China thru Needham s life Here s a tale of what makes men nations amp humankind great related by one of the world s best storytellers br Prologue br The barbarian amp the celestial br Bringing fuel in snowy weather br The discovering of China br The rewards of restlessness br The making of his masterpiece br Persona non grata the certain fall from grace br The passage to the gate


Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories

Variably genial cautionary lyrical admonitory terrifying horrifying and inspiring A lifetime of thought travel reading imagination and memory inform this affecting account em Kirkus Reviews em starred review br br Blending history and anecdote geography and reminiscence science and exposition em New York Times em 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 em Krakatoa The Man Who Loved China em and em The Professor and the Madman em will love this masterful penetrating and resonant tale of humanity finding its way across the ocean of history


The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

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


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


The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze & Back in Chinese Time

Rising in the mountains of the Tibetan border the Yangtze River the symbolic heart of China pierces miles of rugged country before debouching into the oily swells of the East China Sea Connecting China s heartland cities with the volatile coastal giant Shanghai it has also historically connected China to the outside world through its nearly one thousand miles of navigable waters To travel those waters is to travel back in history to sense the soul of China and Simon Winchester takes us along with him as he encounters the essence of China its history and politics its geography and climate as well as engage in its culture and its people in remote and almost inaccessible places This is travel writing at its best lively informative and thoroughly enchanting br


The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom, Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, The Map That Changed the World, The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible, The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze & Back in Chinese Time, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers, A Crack in the Edge of the World