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Atlantic : A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester
  

Atlantic : A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 5 May 2011.

The Atlantic Ocean from its first existence, our discovery of it as a immense sea between Europe and the Americas through to its likely demise. It stays absorbing and hugely informative from page one with Simon Winchester tackling geology, geography, history, archaeology, science, natural history, biology and ecology to tell this vast story. All these “ologies” don’t overwhelm, the author is a master of marshalling facts and writes with great verve, injecting this history with anecdote and his own personal experiences of the ocean from child to man.

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Synopsis

Atlantic : A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester

The epic life story of the Atlantic Ocean from the bestselling author, Simon Winchester For thousands of years the Atlantic Ocean was viewed by mariners with a mixture of awe, terror and amazement -- an impassable barrier to the unknown. In recent times, as we fly high above it without so much as bothering to look down, this vast sea has been reduced to the status of a mere passageway between continents -- 'the pond'. It is easy to forget that the Atlantic has been the setting for some of the most important exchanges, ideas and challenges in the history of civilisation -- a fulcrum around which the power and influence of the modern world has long been distributed. In this narrative tour de force, Simon Winchester dramatises the life story of the Atlantic, from its birth in the farther recesses of geological time to its eventual extinction millions of years in the future. At the heart of the book is the story of humankind's evolving attitude to and relationship with the ocean. For millennia it has shaped the lives and cultures of those who have lived along its shores and have navigated its waters. Travelling around its edges and across its huge expanse, Winchester reports from the places that encapsulate the Atlantic's most fascinating stories -- the age of exploration and the colonisation of the Americas; the rise and fall of the slave trade, and the flourishing of transatlantic commerce; extraordinary tales of sea-borne emigration; and the great naval battles that have left an indelible imprint on Atlantic history. The result is an utterly enthralling mixture of history, science and reportage from a master of narrative non-fiction, and an exhilarating account of a magnificent body of water.

Reviews

Reviews for Krakatoa 'Bracingly apocalyptic stuff: atmospheric, chock full of information and with a constantly escalating sense of pace and tension
Sunday Telegraph

'Gripping. Takes us right to the heart of the worst natural disaster in recorded history. Winchester makes an excellent companion'
Daily Telegraph

'Splendid. Lively, pacy, riveting. We learn a great deal and Winchester, storyteller to the core, wears his erudition lightly'
Spectator

'Winchester proves himself not just a fine researcher and storyteller, but also a gifted stylist. He is the perfect narrator for such a catastrophe'
Observer

About the Author

Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester was born and educated in England, has lived in Africa, India and Asia, and now lives in New York.

Having reported from almost everywhere during an award-winning twenty-year career as a Guardian foreign correspondent, he is currently the Asia-Pacific editor for Condé Nast Traveler and contributes to a number of American magazines, as well as to the Daily Telegraph, the Spectator and the BBC.

Simon Winchester's books include Outposts: Travels to the Remains of the British Empire; Korea: A Walk through the Land of Miracles; The Pacific; Pacific Nightmare, a fictional account of the aftermath of the Hong Kong hand-over; Prison Diary, Argentina, the story of three months spent in a Patagonian jail on spying charges during the Falklands war; The River at the Centre of the World - A Journey Up the Yangtze, Back in Chinese Time, The Surgeon of Crowthorne, The Fracture Zone and The Map That Changed the World.

Photograph © Marion Ettlinger

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Book Info

Publication date

30th September 2010

Author

Simon Winchester

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Author's Website

www.simonwinchester.com/

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Publisher

HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Hardback

Categories

History
The Real World
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9780007341375

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