By Simon Winchester
Mixing historical past and anecdote, geography and memory, technology and exposition, the New York Times bestselling writer of Krakatoa tells the breathtaking saga of the very good Atlantic Ocean, surroundings it opposed to the backdrop of mankind's highbrow evolution
Until 1000 years in the past, no people ventured into the Atlantic or imagined traversing its significant infinity. yet as soon as the 1st bold mariners effectively navigated to a long way shores—whether it used to be the Vikings, the Irish, the chinese language, Christopher Columbus within the north, or the Portuguese and the Spanish within the south—the Atlantic developed within the world's transforming into awareness of itself as an enclosed physique of water bounded through the Americas to the West, and by means of Europe and Africa to the East. Atlantic is a biography of this giant area, of a sea which has outlined and decided quite a bit concerning the lives of the thousands who stay beside or close to its tens of hundreds of thousands of miles of coast.
The Atlantic has been valuable to the targets of explorers, scientists and warriors, and it keeps to impact our personality, attitudes, and desires. Poets to potentates, seers to sailors, fishermen to foresters—all have a dating with this nice physique of blue-green sea and regard her as good friend or foe, adversary or best friend, looking on condition or fortune. Simon Winchester chronicles that dating, making the Atlantic come vividly alive. Spanning from the earth's geological origins to the age of exploration, global battle II battles to trendy pollutants, his narrative is epic and awe-inspiring.
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Additional info for Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories
I was sitting on the cliff edge, my legs dangling over half a mile of emptiness. I was facing due west. Just below me were clouds of seabirds, the gannets and fulmars, kittiwakes and storm petrels, and beside me were the chattering congregations of puffins. Ahead of me there was just nothing—just an endless crawling sea, hammered like copper in the warm sunshine and stretching far, fifty miles, a hundred—from up this high I felt I could have been looking out on five hundred miles and more. There was an endless vacancy that at this latitude, 62 degrees north or so, I knew would be interrupted only by the basalt cliffs of Greenland, more than a thousand miles away.
I was facing due west. Just below me were clouds of seabirds, the gannets and fulmars, kittiwakes and storm petrels, and beside me were the chattering congregations of puffins. Ahead of me there was just nothing—just an endless crawling sea, hammered like copper in the warm sunshine and stretching far, fifty miles, a hundred—from up this high I felt I could have been looking out on five hundred miles and more. There was an endless vacancy that at this latitude, 62 degrees north or so, I knew would be interrupted only by the basalt cliffs of Greenland, more than a thousand miles away.
But wait—was that not how the world at large had come to think of the ocean as a whole? Wasn’t the ocean just distance for most people these days? Didn’t we all now take for granted a body of water that, so relatively recently—no more than five hundred years before, at most—was viewed by mariners who had not yet dared attempt to cross it with a mixture of awe, terror, and amazement? Had not a sea that had once seemed an impassable barrier to somewhere—to Japan? the Indies? the Spice Islands? —transmuted itself with dispatch into a mere bridge of convenience to the wealth and miracles of the New World?
Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester