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 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.
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.
Winchester’s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none. And his historical understanding of the region is formidable, making Pacific a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty, myth, and imagination that is transforming our lives.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, The Map That Changed the World, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa, all of which were New York Times bestsellers and appeared on numerous best and notable lists. In 2006, Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. He resides in western Massachusetts.
Hometown:New York; Massachusetts; Scotland
Date of Birth:September 28, 1944
Place of Birth:London, England
Education:M.A., St. Catherine¿s College, Oxford, 1966
Table of Contents
List of Maps and Illustrations xiii
Prologue: The Lonely Sea and the Sky 1
Author's Note: On Carbon 30
Chapter 1 The Great Thermonuclear Sea 39
Chapter 2 Mr. Ibuka's Radio Revolution 83
Chapter 3 The Ecstasies or Wave Riding 121
Chapter 4 A Dire and Dangerous Irritation 151
Chapter 5 Farewell, All My Friends and Foes 189
Chapter 6 Echoes of Distant Thunder 231
Chapter 7 How Goes the Lucky Country? 267
Chapter 8 The Fires in the Deep 305
Chapter 9 A Fragile and Uncertain Sea 339
Chapter 10 Of Masters and Commanders 377
Epilogue: The Call of the Running Tide 427
Note on Sources 451
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is basically a collection of 12 (if you include the introduction and the epilogue) non-fiction short stories about 20th/21st century Pacific. Pacific is used broadly to describe the WHOLE pacific ocean. Although most of the stories are about the western side of the pacific (or the east), there are a few eastern pacific stories in there as well. My favorite part of this book? The introduction. Just so powerful. But really, everything except Chapter 2 was really up there. Chapter 2 was just boring to me. Parts of other chapters also dragged a bit and that is the only thing that kept this from being a five star recommendation, but if Chapter 2 was out and if 1 or 2 of the chapters were a little bit shorter, then for sure I would have given this 5 stars! Learned so much, and after all, isn't that the point of reading non-fiction?
Another masterpiece by one of the great writers of our time. Well written, well researched, well conducted, well everything. Winchester writes some of the best contemporary non-fiction. I hope he will live a long time so I can continue enjoying his work.
Disappointing version for Nook. The map is unreadable when enlarged. No page numbers show. Haven't read the book yet.