American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World

American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World

by David Baron

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Overview

American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron

This epic story of a nineteenth-century celestial drama will enthrall readers, as the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years plunges America into darkness.
In the scorching summer of 1878, with the Gilded Age in its infancy, three tenacious and brilliant scientists raced to Wyoming and Colorado to observe a rare total solar eclipse. One sought to discover a new planet. Another— an adventuresome female astronomer—fought to prove that science was not anathema to femininity. And a young, megalomaniacal inventor, with the tabloid press fast on his heels, sought to test his scientific bona fides and light the world through his revelations. David Baron brings to three-dimensional life these three competitors— James Craig Watson, Maria Mitchell, and Thomas Edison—and thrillingly re-creates the fierce jockeying of nineteenth-century American astronomy. With spellbinding accounts of train robberies and Indian skirmishes, the mythologized age of the last days of the Wild West comes alive as never before. A magnificent portrayal of America’s dawn as a scientific superpower, American Eclipse depicts a young nation that looked to the skies to reveal its towering ambition and expose its latent genius.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631490163
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 06/06/2017
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 804,009
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David Baron, an award-winning journalist, is author of The Beast in the Garden and a former science correspondent for NPR. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Prologue: Shall the Sun Be Darkened 1

Part 1 1876

Chapter 1 Reign of Shoddy 9

Chapter 2 Professor of Quadruplicity 19

Chapter 3 Nemesis 27

Chapter 4 "Petticoat Parliament" 34

Part 2 1878

Chapter 5 Politics and Moonshine 45

Chapter 6 The Wizard in Washington 60

Chapter 7 Sic Transit 70

Chapter 8 "Good Woman That She Are" 80

Chapter 9 Show Business 89

Part 3 1878

Chapter 10 Among the Tribes of Uncivilization 105

Chapter 11 Queen City 119

Chapter 12 Nature's Editor 133

Chapter 13 Old Probabilities 150

Part 4 1878

Chapter 14 Favored Mortals 167

Chapter 15 First Contact 175

Chapter 16 Totality 183

Chapter 17 American Genius 197

Part 5 1878-1931

Chapter 18 Ghosts 207

Chapter 19 Shadow and Light 221

Epilogue: Tendrils of History 231

Notes on Sources 239

List of Illustrations 283

Select Bibliography 289

Acknowledgments 309

Index 317

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