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 shoreswhether it was the Vikings, the Irish, the Chinese, Christopher Columbus in the north, or the Portuguese and the Spanish in the souththe 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 forestersall 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.
"Winchester occasionally flits beelike from scene to scene, and the facts become lost in a blur. Maybe this is the price for such a monumental undertaking. Nevertheless, Winchester's sea saga is necessary reading." - Publishers Weekly
"His coverage of aspects of human involvement with this ocean is lively and extensive, with topics ranging from the Atlantic as represented in the arts to the effects of climate change and overfishing and from immigration patterns to the use of the oceans waters for warfare." - Booklist
"Winchester does an excellent job at presenting an extensive collection of the most interesting parts of [the Atlantic's] existence. Highly recommended." - Library Journal
"Starred Review. A lifetime of thought, travel, reading, imagination and memory inform this affecting account." - Kirkus Reviews
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Author, journalist, and broadcaster Simon Winchester has worked as a foreign
correspondent for most of his career. Before
joining his first newspaper in 1967, however,
he graduated from Oxford with a degree
in geology and spent a year working as a
geologist in the Ruwenzori Mountains in
western Uganda and on oil rigs in the
His journalistic work, mainly for
The Sunday Times,
him based in Belfast; Washington, D.C.; New Delhi; New York; London; and Hong
Kong, where he covered such stories as the
Ulster crisis, the creation of Bangladesh, the
fall of President Marcos, the Watergate affair,
the Jonestown Massacre, the assassination
President Sadat, the death and
cremation of Pol Pot, and the 1982...
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