Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers

Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers

by Simon Winchester

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Overview

One of Library Journal’s 10 Best Books of 2015

Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature.

As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World, the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow. With China on the rise, so, too, are the American cities of the West coast, including Seattle, San Francisco, and the long cluster of towns down the Silicon Valley.

Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long transformed us—tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis—but its human history, from a Western perspective, is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s sixteenth-century circumnavigation. It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made.

In telling the story of the Pacific, Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between. He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila, visits aboriginals in northern Queensland, and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego, the land at the end of the world. His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway, a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands, a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor.

Winchester’s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none. And his historical understanding of the region is formidable, making Pacific a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty, myth, and imagination that is transforming our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062421630
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/27/2015
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 720
Sales rank: 1,105,926
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, The Map That Changed the World, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa, all of which were New York Times bestsellers and appeared on numerous best and notable lists. In 2006, Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. He resides in western Massachusetts.

Hometown:

New York; Massachusetts; Scotland

Date of Birth:

September 28, 1944

Place of Birth:

London, England

Education:

M.A., St. Catherine¿s College, Oxford, 1966

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations xiii

Prologue: The Lonely Sea and the Sky 1

Author's Note: On Carbon 30

Chapter 1 The Great Thermonuclear Sea 39

Chapter 2 Mr. Ibuka's Radio Revolution 83

Chapter 3 The Ecstasies or Wave Riding 121

Chapter 4 A Dire and Dangerous Irritation 151

Chapter 5 Farewell, All My Friends and Foes 189

Chapter 6 Echoes of Distant Thunder 231

Chapter 7 How Goes the Lucky Country? 267

Chapter 8 The Fires in the Deep 305

Chapter 9 A Fragile and Uncertain Sea 339

Chapter 10 Of Masters and Commanders 377

Epilogue: The Call of the Running Tide 427

Acknowledgments 445

Note on Sources 451

Bibliography 457

Index 465

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