An enthralling glimpse into the life of William Smith, a nineteenth-century engineer who became the founding father of modern geology, explores his creation of a lavish map detailing his discovery that rocks are comprised of many different layers amidst the backdrop of his wife's madness and debtors prison. By the author of The Professor and the Madman. 100,000 first printing.
Author: John O. E. Clark
Publisher: Pavilion Books
Release Date: 2016-02-12
An ancient Chinese proverb suggests, “They are wise parents who give their children roots and wings - and a map.” Maps That Changed the World features some of the world's most famous maps, stretching back to a time when cartography was in its infancy and the 'edge of the world' was a barrier to exploration. The book includes details of how the Lewis and Clark Expedition helped map the American West, and how the British mapped India and Australia. Included are the beautifully engraved Dutch maps of the 16th century; the sinister Utopian maps of the Nazis; the maps that presaged brilliant military campaigns; charted the geology of a nation; and the ones that divided a continent up between its European conquerors. Organised by theme, the book shows the evolution of map-making from all corners of the globe, from ancient clay maps, to cartographic breakthroughs such as Harry Beck’s map of the London underground. There are also famous fictional maps, including the maps of the lost continent of Atlantis and Tolkien’s Middle Earth. With an introduction written by acclaimed cartographic historian Jeremy Black.
Manas is an autodidact youth of vaulting literary and academic ambitions who is struggling to make a living while taking university exams as an external candidate. When he unexpectedly meets Lily Wertheimer, a Peace Corps volunteer in India, a friendship blossoms and he narrates his heartrending story to her. They tentatively explore romance as Lily likens their relationship to the Beautiful Lily in search of the Green Snake of Goethe's myth. While working for his M.A., Manas is challenged to figure out the identity of the Map that Changed the World, its discovery augurs well for his metamorphosis into a new person. The Map portrays the new and challenging life full of hope, opportunities, pains, and prospects in post-Independent post-Partition India through Manas's life. Meanwhile, Lily is not the only romantic interest in Manas's life. Asti, whom Manas hoped to marry, is faced with personal dilemma that may wreck her chances to have the marriage of her dreams; while an academic woman of standing also considers whether Manas has the proper status to be an appropriate husband for her. In the midst of these romantic dilemmas Manas considers whether or not to leave the country of his forebears where he fears he will always be forced to live on the margins of society, and departs for the United States to pursue his program of Ph.D. and lead a life with a brand new karma. Narrated in Manas's cautious but solemn and virile voice, the Map is a richly detailed portrait of strong emotions and hope vanquishing fear, fierce determination overcoming failure, hard work and perseverance meeting the challenges of aspirations and dreams.
Author: Doug Macdougall
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2008-06-30
"Radioactivity is like a clock that never needs adjusting," writes Doug Macdougall. "It would be hard to design a more reliable timekeeper." In Nature's Clocks, Macdougall tells how scientists who were seeking to understand the past arrived at the ingenious techniques they now use to determine the age of objects and organisms. By examining radiocarbon (C-14) dating—the best known of these methods—and several other techniques that geologists use to decode the distant past, Macdougall unwraps the last century's advances, explaining how they reveal the age of our fossil ancestors such as "Lucy," the timing of the dinosaurs' extinction, and the precise ages of tiny mineral grains that date from the beginning of the earth's history. In lively and accessible prose, he describes how the science of geochronology has developed and flourished. Relating these advances through the stories of the scientists themselves—James Hutton, William Smith, Arthur Holmes, Ernest Rutherford, Willard Libby, and Clair Patterson—Macdougall shows how they used ingenuity and inspiration to construct one of modern science's most significant accomplishments: a timescale for the earth's evolution and human prehistory.
Author: Craig Taylor
Publisher: Granta Books
Release Date: 2012-11-01
Ronald Blythe's 1969 book Akenfield - a moving portrait of English country life told in the voices of the farmers and villagers themselves - is a modern classic. In 2004, writer and reporter Craig Taylor returned to the village in Suffolk on which Akenfield was based. Over the course of several months, he sought out locals who had appeared in the original book to see how their lives had changed, he met newcomers to discuss their own views, and he interviewed Ronald Blythe himself, now in his eighties. Young farmers, retired orchardmen and Eastern European migrant workers talk about the nature of farming in an age of computerization and encroaching supermarkets; commuters, weekenders and retirees discuss the realities behind the rural idyll; and the local priest, teacher and more describe the daily pleasures and tribulations of village life. Together, they offer a panoramic and revealing portrait of rural English society at a time of great change.
From the opening and closing of oceans over millions of years to the overnight reshaping of landscapes by volcanoes, the Earth beneath our feet is constantly changing. The Rough Guide to the Earth explores all aspects of our dynamic planet, from the planet’s origins and evolution and the seasons and tides to melting ice caps, glaciers and climate change. Featuring many spectacular images and helpful diagrams, this Rough Guide provides a fascinating and accessible introduction to Earth science.
In A Sense of Place, journalist/travel writer Michael Shapiro goes on a pilgrimage to visit the world's great travel writers on their home turf to get their views on their careers, the writer's craft, and most importantly, why they chose to live where they do and what that place means to them. The book chronicles a young writer’s conversations with his heroes, writers he's read for years who inspired him both to pack his bags to travel and to pick up a pen and write. Michael skillfully coaxes a collective portrait through his interviews, allowing the authors to speak intimately about the writer's life, and how place influences their work and perceptions. In each chapter Michael sets the scene by describing the writer's surroundings, placing the reader squarely in the locale, whether it be Simon Winchester's Massachusetts, Redmond O'Hanlon's London, or Frances Mayes's Tuscany. He then lets the writer speak about life and the world, and through quiet probing draws out fascinating commentary from these remarkable people. For Michael it’s a dream come true, to meet his mentors; for readers, it's an engaging window onto the twin landscapes of great travel writers and the world in which they live.
Author: David Buisseret
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2003-05-22
In 1400 Europe was behind large parts of the world in its understanding of the use of maps. For instance, the people gf China and of Japan were considerably more advanced in this respect. And yet, by 1600 the Europeans had come to use maps for a huge variety of tasks, and were far ahead of the rest of the world in their appreciation of the power and use of cartography. The Mapmakers' Quest seeks to understand this development - not only to tease out the strands of thought and practice which led to the use of maps, but also to assess the ways in which such use affected European societies and economies. Taking as a starting point the question of why there were so few maps in Europe in 1400 and so many by 1650, the book explores the reasons for this and its implications for European history. It examines, inter al, how mapping and military technology advanced in tandem, how modern states' territories were mapped and borders drawn up, the role of maps in shaping the urban environment, and cartography's links to the new sciences.
Author: Susan Hanson
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Release Date: 1997
In these thought-provoking, witty essays, some of America's most distinguished geographers explore ten geographic ideas that have literally changed the world and the way we think and act. They tackle ideas that impose shape on the world, ideas that mold our understanding of the natural environment, and ideas that establish relationships between people and places. The contributors, who include several past presidents of the Association of American Geographers, members of the National Academy of Sciences, and authors of major works in the discipline, are: Elizabeth K. Burns, Patricia Gober, Anne Godlewska, Michael F. Goodchild, Susan Hanson, Robert W. Kates, John R. Mather, William B. Meyer, Mark Monmonier, Edward Relph, Edward J. Taaffe, and B. L. Turner, II.