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Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories »

Book cover image of Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester

Authors: Simon Winchester
ISBN-13: 9780061702587, ISBN-10: 0061702587
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Date Published: November 2010
Edition: (Non-applicable)

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Author Biography: Simon Winchester

Journalist Simon Winchester had already published a list of travel and historical titles before a footnote in a book about dictionary-making led him to his tale of a prolific contributor to the gargantuan Oxford English Dictionary. That book, The Professor and the Madman, became a surprise hit -- and made Winchester a leading practitioner of what The New York Times calls cocktail-party science.

Book Synopsis

Blending history and anecdote, geography and reminiscence, science and exposition, the New York Times bestselling author of Krakatoa tells the breathtaking saga of the magnificent Atlantic Ocean, setting it against the backdrop of mankind's intellectual evolution

Until a thousand years ago, no humans ventured into the Atlantic or imagined traversing its vast infinity. But once the first daring mariners successfully navigated to far shores—whether it was the Vikings, the Irish, the Chinese, Christopher Columbus in the north, or the Portuguese and the Spanish in the south—the Atlantic evolved in the world's growing consciousness of itself as an enclosed body of water bounded by the Americas to the West, and by Europe and Africa to the East. Atlantic is a biography of this immense space, of a sea which has defined and determined so much about the lives of the millions who live beside or near its tens of thousands of miles of coast.

The Atlantic has been central to the ambitions of explorers, scientists and warriors, and it continues to affect our character, attitudes, and dreams. Poets to potentates, seers to sailors, fishermen to foresters—all have a relationship with this great body of blue-green sea and regard her as friend or foe, adversary or ally, depending on circumstance or fortune. Simon Winchester chronicles that relationship, making the Atlantic come vividly alive. Spanning from the earth's geological origins to the age of exploration, World War II battles to modern pollution, his narrative is epic and awe-inspiring.

The Barnes & Noble Review

In his new Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, Winchester's vigorous "biography" of the body of water known at different times as the Ethiopian Ocean, the Mare Glaciale, and (oddly enough) the Ocean Sea, is virtually Byronic in its length and devotion. Mention the names of a string of middling coastal towns -- Esbjerg or Vigo, Takoradi, Walvis Bay, or Puerto Madryn, Wilmington or Halifax -- and where most would hear the very definition of back-water obscurity, for Winchester they're the very stuff of oceanic poetry.

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations

Preface The Leaving of Liverpool 1

Prologue The Beginnings of its Goings on 29

Chapter 1 From the Purple Isles of Mogador 51

Chapter 2 All the Shoals and Deeps Within 99

Chapter 3 Oh! The Beauty and the Might of It 149

Chapter 4 Here the Sea of Pity Lies 207

Chapter 5 They That Occupy Their Business on Great Waters 273

Chapter 6 Change and Decay all Around the Sea 329

Chapter 7 The Storm Surge Carries all Before 395

Epilogue Falls the Shadow, Fades the Sea 441

Acknowledgments 461

A Glossary of Possibly Unfamiliar Terms 465

Bibliography 469

Index 479




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