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The Perfectionists

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

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Book The Perfectionists Description/Summary:

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?

Land: the Ownership of Everywhere

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Unknown
Release : 2021-01-19
Category : Uncategorized
ISBN : 0008359121

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Book Land: the Ownership of Everywhere 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. In 1889, thousands of hopeful people raced southward from the Kansas state line and westward from the Arkansas boundary to stake claims on the thousands of acres of unclaimed pastures and meadows. Across the twentieth century, water was dammed and drained in Holland so that a new province, Flevoland, rose up, unchartered and requiring new thinking. In 1850, California legislated the theft of land from Native Americans. An apology came in 2019 from the governor, but what of the call for reparations or return? What of government confiscation of land in India, or questions of fairness when it comes to New Zealand's Maori population and the legacy of settlers? The ownership of land has always been complicated, opaque, and more than a little anarchic when viewed from the outside. In this book, Simon Winchester explores the the stewardship of land, the ways it is delineated and changes hands, the great disputes, and the questions of restoration - particularly in the light of climate change and colonialist reparation. A global study, this is an exquisite exploration of what the ownership of land might really mean - not in dry-as-dust legal terms, but for the people who live on it.

Land

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : HarperLuxe
Release : 2021-01-19
Category : History
ISBN : 0063063018

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Book Land Description/Summary:

The author of The Professor and the Madman and The Perfectionists explores the notion of property--our proprietary relationship with the land--through human history, how it has shaped us and what it will mean for our future. Land--whether meadow or mountainside, desert or peat bog, parkland or pasture, suburb or city--is central to our existence. It quite literally underlies and underpins everything. Employing the keen intellect, insatiable curiosity, and narrative verve that are the foundations of his previous bestselling works, Simon Winchester examines what we human beings are doing--and have done--with the billions of acres that together make up the solid surface of our planet. Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World examines in depth how we acquire land, how we steward it, how and why we fight over it, and finally, how we can, and on occasion do, come to share it. Ultimately, Winchester confronts the essential question: who actually owns the world's land--and why does it matter?

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

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:

Unleashed by ancient geologic forces, a magnitude 8.25 earthquake rocked San Francisco in the early hours of April 18, 1906. Less than a minute later, the city lay in ruins. Bestselling author Simon Winchester brings his inimitable storytelling abilities to this extraordinary event, exploring the legendary earthquake and fires that spread horror across San Francisco and northern California in 1906 as well as its startling impact on American history and, just as important, what science has recently revealed about the fascinating subterranean processes that produced it—and almost certainly will cause it to strike again.

The Men Who United the States

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper
Release : 2013-10-15
Category : History
ISBN : 0062079603

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Book The Men Who United the States Description/Summary:

The author follows in the footsteps of America's most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators to offer a new perspective on how the most powerful nation on Earth came together.

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.

Atlantic

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 2010-11-02
Category : History
ISBN : 0062020102

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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.

Made in China

Author : Amelia Pang
Publisher : Algonquin Books
Release : 2021-02-02
Category : Business & Economics
ISBN : 9781616209179

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Book Made in China Description/Summary:

A Most-Anticipated Book of the Year: Newsweek * Refinery29 “Moving and powerful.” —Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author In 2012, an Oregon mother named Julie Keith opened up a package of Halloween decorations. The cheap foam headstones had been $5 at Kmart, too good a deal to pass up. But when she opened the box, something fell out that she wasn’t expecting: an SOS letter, handwritten in broken English by the prisoner who’d made and packaged the items. In Made in China, investigative journalist Amelia Pang pulls back the curtain on the labor camps that create the home goods we buy at Kmart, the fast fashion we buy at H&M, and a shocking number of other products besides. The book follows the life of Sun Yi, the Chinese engineer who wrote the note after finding himself a political prisoner, locked in a gulag for joining a forbidden meditation practice and campaigning for the freedom to do so. There he worked alongside petty criminals, civil rights activists, and anyone else the Chinese government decided to “reeducate,” carving foam gravestones and stitching clothing for more than fifteen hours a day. In chasing this story, journalist Amelia Pang has conducted extensive interviews with Sun Yi and the people who knew him. She also identified and interviewed others who endured similar horrors, and who inflicted them. And she traveled to China to follow falsified supply chains herself, tracking trucks from labor camps to warehouses. The story she uncovers is a call to action, urging the American consumer to ask more questions and demand more answers from the companies they patronize.

The Good Earth

Author : Pearl S. Buck
Publisher : Open Road Media
Release : 2012-08-21
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781453263563

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Book The Good Earth Description/Summary:

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, New York Times–bestselling novel about a peasant farmer and his family in early twentieth-century China. The Good Earth is Buck’s classic story of Wang Lung, a Chinese peasant farmer, and his wife, O-lan, a former slave. With luck and hard work, the couple’s fortunes improve over the years: They are blessed with sons, and save steadily until one day they can afford to buy property in the House of Wang—the very house in which O-lan used to work. But success brings with it a new set of problems. Wang soon finds himself the target of jealousy, and as good harvests come and go, so does the social order. Will Wang’s family cherish the estate after he’s gone? And can his material success, the bedrock of his life, guarantee anything about his soul? Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the William Dean Howells Award, The Good Earth was an Oprah’s Book Club choice in 2004. A readers’ favorite for generations, this powerful and beautifully written fable resonates with universal themes of hope and family unity. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Pearl S. Buck including rare images from the author’s estate.

What Were We Thinking

Author : Carlos Lozada
Publisher : Simon & Schuster
Release : 2020-10-06
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781982145620

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Book What Were We Thinking Description/Summary:

The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic uses the books of the Trump era to argue that our response to this presidency reflects the same failures of imagination that made it possible. As a book critic for The Washington Post, Carlos Lozada has read some 150 volumes claiming to diagnose why Trump was elected and what his presidency reveals about our nation. Many of these, he’s found, are more defensive than incisive, more righteous than right. In What Were We Thinking, Lozada uses these books to tell the story of how we understand ourselves in the Trump era, using as his main characters the political ideas and debates at play in America today. He dissects works on the white working class like Hillbilly Elegy; manifestos from the anti-Trump resistance like On Tyranny and No Is Not Enough; books on race, gender, and identity like How to Be an Antiracist and Good and Mad; polemics on the future of the conservative movement like The Corrosion of Conservatism; and of course plenty of books about Trump himself. Lozada’s argument is provocative: that many of these books—whether written by liberals or conservatives, activists or academics, Trump’s true believers or his harshest critics—are vulnerable to the same blind spots, resentments, and failures that gave us his presidency. But Lozada also highlights the books that succeed in illuminating how America is changing in the 21st century. What Were We Thinking is an intellectual history of the Trump era in real time, helping us transcend the battles of the moment and see ourselves for who we really are.

Anthem

Author : Ayn Rand
Publisher : Library of Alexandria
Release : 1946
Category : Individualism
ISBN : 9781613103654

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Book Anthem Description/Summary:

In a future world, only one man dares to think, strive, and love as an individual in the midst of a paralyzing collective humanity.

The Meaning of Everything

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
Release : 2004
Category : English language
ISBN : 0192805762

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Book The Meaning of Everything Description/Summary:

"We visit the ugly corrugated iron structure that Murray grandly dubbed the Scriptorium -- the Scrippy or the Shed, as locals called it -- and meet some of the legion of volunteers, from Fitzedward Hall, a bitter hermit obsessively devoted to the OED, to W.C. Minor, whose story is one of dangerous madness, ineluctable sadness, and ultimate redemption. The Meaning of Everything is a scintillating account of the creation of the greatest monument ever erected to a living language. Simon Winchester's supple, vigorous prose illuminates this dauntingly ambitious project -- a seventy-year odyssey to create the grandfather of all word-books, the world's unrivaled uber-dictionary. Book jacket."--Jacket.

The Professor and the Madman

Author : Simon Winchester
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 1998-08-26
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9780060175962

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Book The Professor and the Madman Description/Summary:

Mysterious (mistîe · ries), a. [f. L. mystérium Mysteryi + ous. Cf. F. mystérieux.] 1. Full of or fraught with mystery; wrapt in mystery; hidden from human knowledge or understanding; impossible or difficult to explain, solve, or discover; of obscure origin, nature, or purpose. It is known as one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters. The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story--a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking. Professor James Murray, an astonishingly learned former schoolmaster and bank clerk, was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon from New Haven, Connecticut, who had served in the Civil War, was one of thousands of contributors who submitted illustrative quotations of words to be used in the dictionary. But Minor was no ordinary contributor. He was remarkably prolific, sending thousands of neat, handwritten quotations from his home in the small village of Crowthorne, fifty miles from Oxford. On numerous occasions Murray invited Minor to visit Oxford and celebrate his work, but Murray's offer was regularly--and mysteriously--refused. Thus the two men, for two decades, maintained a close relationship only through correspondence. Finally, in 1896, after Minor had sent nearly ten thousand definitions to the dictionary but had still never traveled from his home, a puzzled Murray set out to visit him. It was then that Murray finally learned the truth about Minor--that, in addition to being a masterful wordsmith, Minor was also a murderer, clinically insane--and locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics. The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness and genius, and the incredible obsessions of two men at the heart of the Oxford English Dictionary and literary history. With riveting insight and detail, Simon Winchester crafts a fascinating glimpse into one man's tortured mind and his contribution to another man's magnificent dictionary.

The African Lookbook

Author : Catherine E. McKinley
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release : 2021-02-09
Category : History
ISBN : 9781620403549

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Book The African Lookbook Description/Summary:

An unprecedented visual history of African women told in striking and subversive historical photographs--featuring an Introduction by Edwidge Danticat and a Foreword by Jacqueline Woodson. Most of us grew up with images of African women that were purely anthropological--bright displays of exotica where the deeper personhood seemed tucked away. Or they were chronicles of war and poverty--“poverty porn.” But now, curator Catherine E. McKinley draws on her extensive collection of historical and contemporary photos to present a visual history spanning a hundred-year arc (1870–1970) of what is among the earliest photography on the continent. These images tell a different story of African women: how deeply cosmopolitan and modern they are in their style; how they were able to reclaim the tools of the colonial oppression that threatened their selfhood and livelihoods. Featuring works by celebrated African masters, African studios of local legend, and anonymous artists, The African Lookbook captures the dignity, playfulness, austerity, grandeur, and fantasy-making of African women across centuries. McKinley also features photos by Europeans--most starkly, striking nudes--revealing the relationships between white men and the Black female sitters where, at best, a grave power imbalance lies. It's a bittersweet truth that when there is exploitation there can also be profound resistance expressed in unexpected ways--even if it's only in gazing back. These photos tell the story of how the sewing machine and the camera became powerful tools for women's self-expression, revealing a truly glorious display of everyday beauty.

The Company

Author : Stephen Bown
Publisher : Doubleday Canada
Release : 2020-10-27
Category : History
ISBN : 9780385694087

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Book The Company Description/Summary:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER A thrilling new telling of the story of modern Canada's origins. The story of the Hudson's Bay Company, dramatic and adventurous and complex, is the story of modern Canada's creation. And yet it hasn't been told in a book for over thirty years, and never in such depth and vivid detail as in Stephen R. Bown's exciting new telling. The Company started out small in 1670, trading practical manufactured goods for furs with the Indigenous inhabitants of inland subarctic Canada. Controlled by a handful of English aristocrats, it expanded into a powerful political force that ruled the lives of many thousands of people--from the lowlands south and west of Hudson Bay, to the tundra, the great plains, the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific northwest. It transformed the culture and economy of many Indigenous groups and ended up as the most important political and economic force in northern and western North America. When the Company was faced with competition from French traders in the 1780s, the result was a bloody corporate battle, the coming of Governor George Simpson--one of the greatest villains in Canadian history--and the Company assuming political control and ruthless dominance. By the time its monopoly was rescinded after two hundred years, the Hudson's Bay Company had reworked the entire northern North American world. Stephen R. Bown has a scholar's profound knowledge and understanding of the Company's history, but wears his learning lightly in a narrative as compelling, and rich in well-drawn characters, as a page-turning novel.

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.

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

Author : Annalee Newitz
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
Release : 2021-02-02
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780393652673

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Book Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age Description/Summary:

One of Apple's Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021 A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history—and figure out why people abandoned them. In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today. Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers—slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers—who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia. Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.

Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior

Author : Wolfram Schlenker
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Release : 2019-11-13
Category : Business & Economics
ISBN : 9780226619941

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Book Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior Description/Summary:

Agricultural yields have increased steadily in the last half century, particularly since the Green Revolution. At the same time, inflation-adjusted agricultural commodity prices have been trending downward as increases in supply outpace the growth of demand. Recent severe weather events, biofuel mandates, and a switch toward a more meat-heavy diet in emerging economies have nevertheless boosted commodity prices. Whether this is a temporary jump or the beginning of a longer-term trend is an open question. Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior examines the factors contributing to the remarkably steady increase in global yields and assesses whether yield growth can continue. This research also considers whether such growth will impose significant environmental externalities. Among the topics studied are genetically modified crops; changing climatic factors; farm production responses to government regulations including crop insurance, transport subsidies, and electricity subsidies for groundwater extraction; and the role of specific farm practices such as crop diversification, disease management, and water-saving methods. This research provides new evidence that technological as well as policy choices influence agricultural productivity.

Metropolis

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

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Book Metropolis Description/Summary:

From a brilliant young historian, a colorful journey through 7,000 years and twenty-six world cities that shows how urban living has been the spur and incubator to humankind's greatest innovations. In the two hundred millennia of our existence, nothing has shaped us more profoundly than the city. Historian Ben Wilson, author of bestselling and award-winning books on British history, now tells the grand, glorious story of how city living has allowed human culture to flourish. Beginning with Uruk, the world's first city, dating to 5000 BC and memorably portrayed in the Epic of Gilgamesh, he shows us that cities were never a necessity but that once they existed their density created such a blossoming of human endeavor--producing new professions, forms of art, worship, and trade--that they kick-started nothing less than civilization. Guiding readers through famous cities over 7,000 years, he reveals the innovations driven by each: 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 Epoque Paris. In the modern age, he studies the impact of verticality in New York City, the sprawl of L.A., and the eco-reimagining of twenty-first-century Shanghai. Lively, erudite, page turning, and irresistible, Metropolis is a grand tour of human achievement.