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 fabulous 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 titanic infinity. yet as soon as the 1st bold mariners effectively navigated to a long way shores—whether it was once 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 becoming recognition of itself as an enclosed physique of water bounded by means of the Americas to the West, and by means of Europe and Africa to the East. Atlantic is a biography of this large house, of a sea which has outlined and decided a lot concerning the lives of the hundreds of thousands who dwell beside or close to its tens of hundreds of thousands of miles of coast.
The Atlantic has been vital to the goals of explorers, scientists and warriors, and it maintains to impact our personality, attitudes, and goals. 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 buddy or foe, adversary or best friend, looking on situation or fortune. Simon Winchester chronicles that courting, making the Atlantic come vividly alive. Spanning from the earth's geological origins to the age of exploration, international battle II battles to fashionable pollutants, his narrative is epic and awe-inspiring.
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Extra info for Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories
That I had just been hove-to, so far from all mankind, at the mercy of the sea—and yet linked by radio with so significant a piece of history: that made the moment even more special and helped burn the memory of this fragment of waterway ever more firmly into my mind. Today that same piece of marine geography, spotted briefly from an overflying aircraft, had been no more than a faraway patch of mottled and discolored water serving inconveniently to keep me from the timely arrival at my destination.
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?
And though today we recognize what this community is and whom it fully embraces (and even if we do not fully comprehend it), it is clear that despite the coming claims of India and China and Japan, it is a grouping of countries and civilizations that, for now at least, still manages to direct the principal doings of the planet. It is a community of sorts, a kind of pan-Atlantic civilization, if you will, that at its beginning involved simply the northern countries on the Atlantic shores, with the nations of Western Europe on the one hand and the United States and Canada on the other.
Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester