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Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean


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In Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, writer, sailor, and surfer Jonathan White takes readers across the globe to discover the science and spirit of ocean tides. In the Arctic, White shimmies under the ice with an Inuit elder to hunt for mussels in the dark cavities left behind at low tide; in China, he races the Silver Dragon, a twenty-five-foot tidal bore that crashes eighty miles up the Qiantang River; in France, he interviews the monks that live in the tide-wrapped monastery of Mont Saint-Michel; in Chile and Scotland, he investigates the growth of tidal power generation; and in Panama and Venice, he delves into how the threat of sea level rise is changing human culture—the very old and very new. Tides combines lyrical prose, colorful adventure travel, and provocative scientific inquiry into the elemental, mysterious paradox that keeps our planet’s waters in constant motion. Photographs, scientific figures, line drawings, and sixteen color photos dramatically illustrate this engaging, expert tour of the tides.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595348517
Publisher: Trinity University Press
Publication date: 06/15/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 180,396
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014) was an American novelist, naturalist, wilderness writer, and CIA agent. A co-founder of the Paris Review, he was a 2008 National Book Award winner. He was also an environmental activist. His nonfiction, notably The Snow Leopard, featured nature and travel, as well as American Indian issues and history, including his study of the Leonard Peltier case, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. His early story story "Travelin' Man" was made into the film The Young One directed by Luis Buñuel, and his novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord was made into a 1991 film. He lived in Sagaponak, New York.

Jonathan White is an active marine conservationist, a sailor, and a surfer. His first book, Talking on the Water: Conversations about Nature and Creativity, is a collection of interviews exploring our relationship with nature and features Gretel Ehrlich, David Brower, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gary Snyder, Peter Matthiessen, and others. White has written for the Christian Science Monitor, The Sun, Orion, Surfer’s Journal, and other publications. He holds an MFA in creative nonfiction and lives with his wife and son on a small island in Washington State.

Table of Contents

Foreword Peter Matthiessen xiii

In Deep: An Introduction i

1 The Perfect Dance: Birds and Big Tides in the Bay of Fundy 13

2 Star of Our Life: A Meditation on Tide History at Mont Saint-Michel 44

3 Silver Dragon: China's Qiantang River Tidal Bore 75

4 The Last Magician: Sir Isaac Newton and the Scientific Revolution 97

5 Big Waves: Surfing Mavericks and Nineteenth-Century Tide Theories 126

6 Fast Water: How Tidal Currents Slow the Earth and Bend Time 159

7 Big Tides and Resonance: Fundy and Ungava 191

8 Turning the Tide: Grinding Wheat, Powering Homes 219

9 Higher Tides: Sea Level Rise from Kuna Yala to Venice 252

Acknowledgments 286

Image Credits 289

Glossary 290

Notes 294

Sources 309

Index 327


"A phenomenal book — probably one of the smartest books about a spirit I've ever read." — The Toronto Star

"A rich story... engaging." — The Wall Street Journal

"A lively exploration of the heritage, culture, practices and politics that shape Mexico's most famous export. Martineau introduces producers using traditional agricultural and distillation methods, shows readers why they're worth preserving, and outlines the challenges facing anyone concerned with the quality and sustainability of tequila, mezcal and other agave spirits." — The Kansas City Star

"Martineau journeys through Mexico interviewing producers of the agave-based spirits tequila and mescal. She's dismayed that international beverage distributors now design and market Mexico's signature alcoholic drinks and that techniques of mass production too often sacrifice integrity and authenticity." — Foreign Affairs

"Martineau argues convincingly that good tequila resembles wine more than it does its fellow liquors. She writes of agave plantations as if they are vineyards, with variations in climate, slope, soil, and moisture resulting in variations in the plants that are, in turn, discernible in the distilled product. She co-opts the precious French word terroir and applies it to her subject with no intended loss of dignity." — The Los Angeles Review of Books

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