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Longitud : den sanna berättelsen om geniet som löste sin tids största… (1995)

av Dava Sobel, William J. H. Andrewes

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7,857166812 (3.87)279
Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest, and of John Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, brilliance and the absurd, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking. Through Dava Sobel's consummate skill, Longitude will open a new window on our world for all who read it.… (mer)
Senast inlagd avaaronarnold, Clarissa_, tlwright, Rikbr, privat bibliotek, ejmw, PaulLinsay
  1. 40
    The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science av Richard Holmes (Laura400)
  2. 10
    The Frozen Water Trade: A True Story av Gavin Weightman (harmen)
  3. 32
    Gårdagens ö av Umberto Eco (polutropon)
    polutropon: Eco's book is a magical realist novel set in the Age of Exploration, in which the quest to reliably determine longitude at sea plays a pivotal role.
  4. 00
    A Short Bright Flash: Augustin Fresnel and the Birth of the Modern Lighthouse av Theresa Levitt (ALinNY458)
    ALinNY458: A Short Brief Flash is a high readable book that I thought had some parallels to the story told in Dava Sobel's fine book.
  5. 00
    Greenwich: The Place Where Days Begin and End av Charles Jennings (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: An account of the invention of true chronometer and definition of Longitude.
  6. 00
    Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos av Alan W. Hirshfeld (LouRead)
    LouRead: Another dramatic story of the discovery of a scientific truth, told with flair. You won't want to put it down...
  7. 00
    Genesis to Jupiter av Peter Mason (KayCliff)
  8. 01
    Map Of A Nation: A Biography Of The Ordnance Survey av Rachel Hewitt (John_Vaughan)
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» Se även 279 omnämnanden

engelska (155)  spanska (3)  tyska (2)  nederländska (2)  franska (2)  danska (1)  Alla språk (165)
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Quick, focused history books are underrated, especially when they're as well-written as this one. The subtitle of "The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time" sounds hyperbolic, but it's basically true. Sobel's account of how unknown English clockmaker John Harrison solved the longitude problem - how can sailors tell their position at sea in a quick, accurate, and reliable way in order to avoid sinking or mistaking Caribbean islands for India? - takes an underappreciated scientific issue and explains why it's important, why it was so difficult to solve, who the key players were, and why it matters today. While she doesn't wander down every single potential historical avenue or wring all of the scientific/military/political contextual details out, she's able to give the reader plenty of background for further digging, in case you want more details on the vagaries of star-sighting or constructing astronomical tables, the rivalry between Britain and France, or why exactly Nevil Maskelyne was such a jerk to his fellow astronomers and scientists.

Plus as a bonus it gives you more to ponder on how best to systematically promote scientific research: the debate over the prize system vs investing more in public universities vs offering R&D tax credits to private companies can seem arcane, but the specific example of a life-and-death situation like the longitude problem makes the tradeoffs of each unusually clear. Scientific research offers a great window into society's priorities, and Sobel's book is an excellent look at an often-overlooked example of progress at its most unexpected. Few of us mostly land-locked folks will ever need to determine the nearest meridian line from a ship at sea in a storm, but it's always worth remembering how we've benefitted from humble experimenters like Harrison, and thinking of ways to encourage his spiritual successors. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
A popular and intriguing account about the solution to longitude and the development of the maritime watch.

Dava Sobel makes interesting reading of the story of Harrison and his clock. The book outlines the technical challenges ships had to overcome in order to safely sail the oceans, the different solutions proposed and how the clock won. ( )
  Aetherson | Apr 26, 2021 |
I thought this would be a more interesting book than it was, but kudos to Dava Sobel for giving it a good try. The story is about a man who spent his lifetime making a clock and the author stretches it out with information about competition, unfair treatment by the scientific community, and other methods used to determine longitude, but ultimately it's still about making a clock.

Docked a star from my rating because there were times it read like the author was trying to get the word count up by using sentences with just too unnecessary words thrown in.

I chose this book because of my interest in history and geography but ultimately that may have been the reason I found it uninteresting. There just wasn't enough new information for me. I would recommend this book to the type of person who likes to watch intricate youtube videos of how other metal things are crafted.


( )
  northwestknitter | Mar 28, 2021 |
The quest to build the longitudinal clock, enabling sea traffic and perfecting the clockwork mechanism which European history hinged upon.

A quick and fascinating read. ( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 165 (nästa | visa alla)
Ms. Sobel, a former science reporter for The New York Times, confesses in her source notes that ''for a few months at the outset, I maintained the insane idea that I could write this book without traveling to England and seeing the timekeepers firsthand.'' Eventually she did visit the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, where the four clocks that James Harrison constructed are exhibited.
She writes, ''Coming face with these machines at last -- after having read countless accounts of their construction and trial, after having seen every detail of their insides and outsides in still and moving pictures -- reduced me to tears.''
Such is the eloquence of this gem of a book that it makes you understand exactly how she felt.
 
Here's a swell little book that tells an amazing story that is largely forgotten today but that deserves to be remembered.

It is the story of the problem of navigation at sea--which plagued ocean-going mariners for centuries--and how it was finally solved.

It is the story of how an unknown, uneducated and unheralded clockmaker solved the problem that had stumped some of the greatest scientific minds. And it is the story of how the Establishment of the 18th Century tried to block his solution.

The essential problem is this: In the middle of the ocean, how can you tell where you are? That is, how can you tell how far east or west of your starting point you have gone?
tillagd av smasler | ändraLos Angeles Times, Lee Dembart (Nov 24, 1995)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (22 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Sobel, DavaFörfattareprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Andrewes, William J. H.huvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Armstrong, NeilFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Dilla Martínez, XavierÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Reading, KateBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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When I'm playful I use the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude for a seine, and drag the Atlantic Ocean for whales. --Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
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For my mother, Betty Gruber Sobel, a four-star navigator who can sail by the heavens but always drives by way of Canarsie.
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Once on a Wednesday excursion when I was a little girl, my father bought me a beaded wire ball that I loved.
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Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest, and of John Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, brilliance and the absurd, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking. Through Dava Sobel's consummate skill, Longitude will open a new window on our world for all who read it.

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