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Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : HarperCollins UK
Release : 2021-01-19
Category : History
ISBN : 9780008359133

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Book Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World Description/Summary:

From the bestselling author Simon Winchester, a human history of land around the world: who mapped it, owned it, stole it, cared for it, fought for it and gave it back.

Land

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper Large Print
Release : 2021
Category : Land tenure
ISBN : 1648381812

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Book Land Description/Summary:

Explores the concept of land ownership and how it has shaped history, examining how people fight over, steward, and occasionally share land, and what humanity's proprietary relationship with land means for the future.

Land

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : William Collins
Release : 2022-01-20
Category : Uncategorized
ISBN : 0008359156

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Book Land Description/Summary:

From the bestselling author Simon Winchester, a human history of land around the world: who mapped it, owned it, stole it, cared for it, fought for it and gave it back.

Outposts

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 2009-10-27
Category : History
ISBN : 0061978329

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Book Outposts Description/Summary:

The New York Times bestselling author of Krakatoa and The Professor and the Madman takes readers on a quirky and charming tour of the last outpost of the British empire Originally published in 1985, Outposts is Simon Winchester’s journey to find the vanishing empire, “on which the sun never sets.” In the course of a three-year, 100,000 mile journey—from the chill of the Antarctic to the blue seas of the Caribbean, from the South of Spain and the tip of China to the utterly remote specks in the middle of gale-swept oceans—he discovered such romance and depravity, opulence and despair tht he was inspired to write what may be the last contemporary account of the British empire. Written with Winchester’s captivating style and breadth, here are conversations and anecdotes, myths and political analysis, scenery and history—a poignant and colorful record of the lingering beat of what was once the heart of the civilized world.

Owning the Earth

Author : Andro Linklater
Publisher : A&C Black
Release : 2014-01-16
Category : Land tenure
ISBN : 9781408815748

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Book Owning the Earth Description/Summary:

From the author of the acclaimed Measuring America, a dazzling chronicle of how, throughout history and across cultures, land ownership has shaped modern society

The Perfectionists

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : HarperCollins
Release : 2018-05-08
Category : History
ISBN : 9780062652577

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Book The Perfectionists Description/Summary:

“Another gem from one of the world’s justly celebrated historians specializing in unusual and always fascinating subjects and people.” — Booklist (starred review) The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement—precision—in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future. The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools—machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras—and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider. Simon Winchester takes us back to origins of the Industrial Age, to England where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who later exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Winchester moves forward through time, to today’s cutting-edge developments occurring around the world, from America to Western Europe to Asia. As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?

The Men Who United the States

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 2013-10-15
Category : History
ISBN : 9780062079626

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Book The Men Who United the States Description/Summary:

Simon Winchester, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Atlantic and The Professor and the Madman, delivers his first book about America: a fascinating popular history that illuminates the men who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of the U.S.A. from its beginnings. How did America become “one nation, indivisible”? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America’s most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, such as Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys; 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, Seattle to Anchorage, introducing the fascinating people 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. Featuring 32 illustrations throughout the text, The Men Who United the States is a fresh look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together.

Work

Author : James Suzman
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2022-01-18
Category : History
ISBN : 9780525561774

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Book Work Description/Summary:

"This book is a tour de force." -- Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take A revolutionary new history of humankind through the prism of work by leading anthropologist James Suzman Work defines who we are. It determines our status, and dictates how, where, and with whom we spend most of our time. It mediates our self-worth and molds our values. But are we hard-wired to work as hard as we do? Did our Stone Age ancestors also live to work and work to live? And what might a world where work plays a far less important role look like? To answer these questions, James Suzman charts a grand history of "work" from the origins of life on Earth to our ever more automated present, challenging some of our deepest assumptions about who we are. Drawing insights from anthropology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, zoology, physics, and economics, he shows that while we have evolved to find joy meaning and purpose in work, for most of human history our ancestors worked far less and thought very differently about work than we do now. He demonstrates how our contemporary culture of work has its roots in the agricultural revolution ten thousand years ago. Our sense of what it is to be human was transformed by the transition from foraging to food production, and, later, our migration to cities. Since then, our relationships with one another and with our environments, and even our sense of the passage of time, have not been the same. Arguing that we are in the midst of a similarly transformative point in history, Suzman shows how automation might revolutionize our relationship with work and in doing so usher in a more sustainable and equitable future for our world and ourselves.

American Property

Author : Stuart Banner
Publisher : Harvard University Press
Release : 2011-07-01
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780674060821

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Book American Property Description/Summary:

What is property? Stuart Banner here offers a guided tour through the many manifestations, and innumerable uses, of property throughout American history. From indigenous culture to our genes, from one’s celebrity to Internet content, American Property reveals how our ideas of ownership evolve to suit our ever-changing needs.

Metropolis

Author : Ben Wilson
Publisher : Anchor
Release : 2020-11-10
Category : History
ISBN : 9780385543477

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Book Metropolis Description/Summary:

In a captivating tour of cities famous and forgotten, acclaimed historian Ben Wilson tells the glorious, millennia-spanning story how urban living sparked humankind's greatest innovations. “A towering achievement. . . . Reading this book is like visiting an exhilarating city for the first time—dazzling.” —The Wall Street Journal During the two hundred millennia of humanity’s existence, nothing has shaped us more profoundly than the city. From their very beginnings, cities created such a flourishing of human endeavor—new professions, new forms of art, worship and trade—that they kick-started civilization. Guiding us through the centuries, Wilson reveals the innovations nurtured by the inimitable energy of human beings together: civics in the agora of Athens, global trade in ninth-century Baghdad, finance in the coffeehouses of London, domestic comforts in the heart of Amsterdam, peacocking in Belle Époque Paris. In the modern age, the skyscrapers of New York City inspired utopian visions of community design, while the trees of twenty-first-century Seattle and Shanghai point to a sustainable future in the age of climate change. Page-turning, irresistible, and rich with engrossing detail, Metropolis is a brilliant demonstration that the story of human civilization is the story of cities.

Krakatoa

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Penguin UK
Release : 2004-06-03
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9780141926230

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Book Krakatoa Description/Summary:

Simon Winchester's brilliant chronicle of the destruction of the Indonesian island of Krakatoa in 1883 charts the birth of our modern world. He tells the story of the unrecognized genius who beat Darwin to the discovery of evolution; of Samuel Morse, his code and how rubber allowed the world to talk; of Alfred Wegener, the crack-pot German explorer and father of geology. In breathtaking detail he describes how one island and its inhabitants were blasted out of existence and how colonial society was turned upside-down in a cataclysm whose echoes are still felt to this day.

The Alice Behind Wonderland

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Release : 2011-01-01
Category : Literary Criticism
ISBN : 9780199753116

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Book The Alice Behind Wonderland Description/Summary:

On a summer's day in 1858, in a garden behind Christ Church College in Oxford, Charles Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics, photographed six-year-old Alice Liddell, the daughter of the college dean, with a Thomas Ottewill Registered Double Folding camera, recently purchased in London. Simon Winchester deftly uses the resulting image--as unsettling as it is famous, and the subject of bottomless speculation--as the vehicle for a brief excursion behind the lens, a focal point on the origins of a classic work of English literature. Dodgson's love of photography framed his view of the world, and was partly responsible for transforming a shy and half-deaf mathematician into one of the world's best-loved observers of childhood. Little wonder that there is more to "Alice Liddell as the Beggar Maid" than meets the eye. Using Dodgson's published writings, private diaries, and of course his photographic portraits, Winchester gently exposes the development of Lewis Carroll and the making of his Alice. Acclaim for Simon Winchester "An exceptionally engaging guide at home everywhere, ready for anything, full of gusto and seemingly omnivorous curiosity." --Pico Iyer, The New York Times Book Review "A master at telling a complex story compellingly and lucidly." --USA Today "Extraordinarily graceful." --Time "Winchester is an exquisite writer and a deft anecdoteur." --Christopher Buckley "A lyrical writer and an indefatigable researcher." --Newsweek

Pacific

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : HarperCollins
Release : 2015-10-27
Category : History
ISBN : 9780062315434

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Book Pacific Description/Summary:

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.

Atlantic

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 2010-11-02
Category : History
ISBN : 9780062020109

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Book Atlantic Description/Summary:

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

Rescuing the Planet

Author : Tony Hiss
Publisher : Knopf
Release : 2021-03-30
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9780525654827

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Book Rescuing the Planet Description/Summary:

An urgent, resounding call to protect 50 percent of the earth's land by 2050—thereby saving millions of its species—and a candid assessment of the health of our planet and our role in conserving it, from the award-winning author of The Experience of Place and veteran New Yorker staff writer. "An upbeat and engaging account of the remarkable progress being made to preserve vast wild spaces for animals to roam." —The Wall Street Journal Beginning in the vast North American Boreal Forest that stretches through Canada, and roving across the continent, from the Northern Sierra to Alabama's Paint Rock Forest, from the Appalachian Trail to a ranch in Mexico, Tony Hiss sets out on a journey to take stock of the "superorganism" that is the earth: its land, its elements, its plants and animals, its greatest threats--and what we can do to keep it, and ourselves, alive. Hiss not only invites us to understand the scope and gravity of the problems we face, but also makes the case for why protecting half the land is the way to fix those problems. He highlights the important work of the many groups already involved in this fight, such as the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and the global animal tracking project ICARUS. And he introduces us to the engineers, geologists, biologists, botanists, oceanographers, ecologists, and other "Half Earthers" like Hiss himself who are allied in their dedication to the unifying, essential cause of saving our own planet from ourselves. Tender, impassioned, curious, and above all else inspiring, Rescuing the Planet is a work that promises to make all of us better citizens of the earth.

A Crack in the Edge of the World

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 2013-02-05
Category : History
ISBN : 9780062277459

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Book A Crack in the Edge of the World Description/Summary:

The international bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa vividly brings to life the 1906San Francisco Earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion. Simon Winchester has also fashioned an enthralling and informative informative look at the tumultuous subterranean world that produces earthquakes, the planet's most sudden and destructive force. In the early morning hours of April 18, 1906, San Francisco and a string of towns to its north-northwest and the south-southeast were overcome by an enormous shaking that was compounded by the violent shocks of an earthquake, registering 8.25 on the Richter scale. The quake resulted from a rupture in a part of the San Andreas fault, which lies underneath the earth's surface along the northern coast of California. Lasting little more than a minute, the earthquake wrecked 490 blocks, toppled a total of 25,000 buildings, broke open gas mains, cut off electric power lines throughout the Bay area, and effectively destroyed the gold rush capital that had stood there for a half century. Perhaps more significant than the tremors and rumbling, which affected a swatch of California more than 200 miles long, were the fires that took over the city for three days, leaving chaos and horror in its wake. The human tragedy included the deaths of upwards of 700 people, with more than 250,000 left homeless. It was perhaps the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. Simon Winchester brings his inimitable storytelling abilities -- as well as his unique understanding of geology -- to this extraordinary event, exploring not only what happened in northern California in 1906 but what we have learned since about the geological underpinnings that caused the earthquake in the first place. But his achievement is even greater: he positions the quake's significance along the earth's geological timeline and shows the effect it had on the rest of twentieth-century California and American history. A Crack in the Edge of the World is the definitive account of the San Francisco earthquake. It is also a fascinating exploration of a legendary event that changed the way we look at the planet on which we live.

Under a White Sky

Author : Elizabeth Kolbert
Publisher : Crown
Release : 2021-02-09
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780593136294

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Book Under a White Sky Description/Summary:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity’s transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? RECOMMENDED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND BILL GATES • SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR WRITING • ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, Esquire, Smithsonian Magazine, Vulture, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal • “Beautifully and insistently, Kolbert shows us that it is time to think radically about the ways we manage the environment.”—Helen Macdonald, The New York Times That man should have dominion “over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” is a prophecy that has hardened into fact. So pervasive are human impacts on the planet that it’s said we live in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. In Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets biologists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish, which lives in a single tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a “super coral” that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth. One way to look at human civilization, says Kolbert, is as a ten-thousand-year exercise in defying nature. In The Sixth Extinction, she explored the ways in which our capacity for destruction has reshaped the natural world. Now she examines how the very sorts of interventions that have imperiled our planet are increasingly seen as the only hope for its salvation. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.

The Map That Changed the World

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 2009-10-27
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780061978272

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Book The Map That Changed the World Description/Summary:

In 1793, 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. 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. The Map That Changed the World 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.

The Man Who Loved China

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 2009-03-17
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9780061795886

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Book The Man Who Loved China Description/Summary:

In sumptuous and illuminating detail, Simon Winchester, the bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman ("Elegant and scrupulous"—New York Times Book Review) and Krakatoa ("A mesmerizing page-turner"—Time) brings to life the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China, long the world's most technologically advanced country. No cloistered don, this tall, married Englishman was a freethinking intellectual, who practiced nudism and was devoted to a quirky brand of folk dancing. In 1937, while working as a biochemist at Cambridge University, he instantly fell in love with a visiting Chinese student, with whom he began a lifelong affair. He soon became fascinated with China, and his mistress swiftly persuaded the ever-enthusiastic Needham to travel to her home country, where he embarked on a series of extraordinary expeditions to the farthest frontiers of this ancient empire. He searched everywhere for evidence to bolster his conviction that the Chinese were responsible for hundreds of mankind's most familiar innovations—including printing, the compass, explosives, suspension bridges, even toilet paper—often centuries before the rest of the world. His thrilling and dangerous journeys, vividly recreated by Winchester, took him across war-torn China to far-flung outposts, consolidating his deep admiration for the Chinese people. After the war, Needham was determined to tell the world what he had discovered, and began writing his majestic Science and Civilisation in China, describing the country's long and astonishing history of invention and technology. By the time he died, he had produced, essentially single-handedly, seventeen immense volumes, marking him as the greatest one-man encyclopedist ever. Both epic and intimate, The Man Who Loved China tells the sweeping story of China through Needham's remarkable life. Here is an unforgettable tale of what makes men, nations, and, indeed, mankind itself great—related by one of the world's inimitable storytellers.

Basque History Of The World

Author : Mark Kurlansky
Publisher : Knopf Canada
Release : 2011-03-11
Category : History
ISBN : 9780307369789

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Book Basque History Of The World Description/Summary:

"They are a mythical people, almost an imagined people," writes Mark Kurlansky. Settled in a corner of France and Spain in a land marked on no maps except their own, the Basques are a nation without a country, whose ancient and dramatic story illuminates Europe's own saga. Where did they come from? Signs of their civilization exist well before the arrival of the Romans in 218 B.C., and their culture appears to predate all others in Europe. Their mysterious and forbidden tongue, Euskera, is related to no other language on Earth. The Basques have stubbornly defended their unique culture against the Celts, the Romans, the Visigoths and Moors, the kings of Spain and France, Napoleon, Franco, the modern Spanish state, and the European Union. Yet as much as their origins are obscure, the Basques' contributions to world history have been clear and remarkable. Early explorers, they made fortunes whaling before the year 1000 and became the premier cod fishermen in Europe after discovering Canada's Grand Banks. Juan Sebastian de Elcano, a Basque, was the first man to circumnavigate the globe in 1522. Their influence has also been felt in religion as founders of the Jesuits in 1534, and in business, as leaders of the Industrial Revolution in southern Europe. Mark Kurlanky's passion for the Basque people, and his exuberant eye for detail, shine throughout this fascinating history. Like his acclaimed Cod, it blends human, economic, political, literary and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale.