Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries,
and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories
AUDIOBOOK: 14:23 hours
I cannot add anything substantial to the great synopsis published on Goodreads (see below under “About the book”).
This is the most thorough “biography” I have ever read, and the most entertaining as well. One thing I would like to highlight, however, is the plan of the book, a genius idea I believe. Winchester arranges his development on each aspect of the Atlantic Ocean by following the order found in As You Like It by Shakespeare.
Here is how he explains it:
This was enough to hook me.
And the audiobook was read by Winchester himself, which is an additional treat!
ABOUT THE BOOK
“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.” [goodreads]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Simon Winchester’s many books include The Professor and the Madman, The Map That Changed the World, Krakatoa, and A Crack in the Edge of the World. Each of these has been a New York Times bestseller and has appeared on numerous best and notable lists. Mr. Winchester was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by HM The Queen in 2006. He lives in western Massachusetts. See here to know more him and his work.
There’s also a Q&A with him here.
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