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The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention that Changed the World

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2010

    AP World History Review: I thought that the Riddle of the Compass: The Invention That Changed the World is an interesting book. The thing that I liked about it is that how it went deep in the information about how the compass originated and was used.

    My impression of the Riddle of the Compass: The Invention That Changed the World was that is looks like an interesting book. After I read it, I liked how the author added information about how people used the compass, what was invented before the compass that was similar, how it changed, and other such alluring aspects. The author's purpose was to tell the reader about how the compass was invented from one place to another and how it worked overall. Amir D. Aczel, the author, achieved his purpose. When he was a kid he sailed with his father because he was a captain on a ship. Therefore, he has some insight of what it was like to use the compass from when he was a little kid. Aczel does not write the book until he gets older, but he sailing with his dad is what inspired him to write this book. Aczel achieves his purpose of writing the book because he also does a ton of research in order to go in deep about the information. Thus, I think that Aczel completes his purpose perfectly. I would only recommend this book to people who want more background information on the compass. The Riddle of the Compass does not cover many historical aspects such as empires, social structures, and political and economic philosophies. This book talks more about how people used the compass, modified it, and how it improved over time. It even talks about the magnetic fields of Earth and how the compass used them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2002

    A Great Short Story of Invention

    It was the nature of the compass that its invention took place over a long time, from ancient times to the middle ages, and its design evolved from China to the Mediterranean. However, as a reliable device for navigation in the open seas the Amalfi compass was undoubtedly the first major breakthrough. This fascinating story of invention over centuries, in many countries, by mostly unknown inventors and navigators, is told superbly by Arik Aczel in this most readable book. The author also explains briefly how following invention of the compass, the development of the Wind Rose improved navigation even more. The result was world exploration, expansion of trade and travel, the dawn of industrialization and the rise of global empires.

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