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The Map That Changed the World
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About the Author

Simon Winchester has had an award-winning 20 year career as Guardian correspondent. He lives in New York and is the Asia-Pacific Editor for Conde Nast Traveler and contributes to a number of American magazines, as well as the Daily Telegraph, the Spectator and the BBC. He has written numerous books. The River at the Centre of the World (Viking 1997/Penguin 1998) has been shortlisted for the 1998 Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Award.

Reviews

"Smith's unsung life provides the perfect backdrop for yet another entertaining intellectual history."--Denver Post

"Winchester masterfully weaves a compelling history."--Newsday

"A compelling human story"--Boston Sunday Herald

"Smith's life provides a terrific plot to frame his contribution to science. Winchester's wonderful account does credit to it."--Publishers Weekly (*Starred Review*)

"Well-researched narrative"--BusinessWeek

"Winchester brings Smith's struggle to life in clear and beautiful language."--New York Times Book Review

"Winchester has once again captured the essence of persistence against odds resulting in achievement."--Library Journal (starred review)

Smith s unsung life provides the perfect backdrop for yet another entertaining intellectual history. --Denver Post

Winchester masterfully weaves a compelling history. --Newsday

"A compelling human story" -- Boston Sunday Herald

"Well-researched narrative" -- BusinessWeek

Winchester, whose previous effort was the bestseller The Professor and the Madman, tells the remarkable story of William Smith, whose geologically correct map of England and Wales, dated 1815, became the bedrock for the modern science of geology. Winchester's strength is his ability to meld into compelling narrative a host of literary conventions, such as foreshadowing and fictionalized, internal dialogue. With descriptive contemporary visitations to places significant to the story and well-chosen historical detail, he makes immediate not only the magnitude and elegance of Smith's accomplishment, but also the thrill of each of the moments of genius necessary to reach his ultimate conclusion. But intellectual discovery is only half this story. Winchester writes with verve and conviction when relating the class and cultural wars that enveloped Smith soon after the publication of his map. It was plagiarized, stolen through the intrigues and machinations of George Bellas Greenough, an immensely wealthy gentleman and a founding member of the Geological Society of London, which, in a spectacular embrace of injustice, initially denied Smith membership. After a brief incarceration in debtor's prison, Smith left London and its scientific circles, not returning until his reputation was resurrected years later, when he became the first recipient of the Wollastan Medal, geology's Nobel Prize. Smith's life provides a terrific plot to frame his contribution to science. Winchester's wonderful account does credit to it. 60 illus. not seen by PW. (Aug. 14) Forecast: HarperCollins will roll this out with the fanfare due an undoubted bestseller, including a nine-city author tour, 15-city NPR campaign and national advertising. The crowning touch, however, is the dust jacket, which unfolds into a full-color replica of the notable map. The first printing is 125,000. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Former Oxford geologist Winchester follows up the success of The Professor and the Madman with this story of canal digger William Smith, who first noticed that rocks come in layers with different fossils in each and then proceeded to map all of England geologically. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Smith's unsung life provides the perfect backdrop for yet another entertaining intellectual history."--Denver Post
"Winchester masterfully weaves a compelling history."--Newsday
"A compelling human story"--Boston Sunday Herald
"Smith's life provides a terrific plot to frame his contribution to science. Winchester's wonderful account does credit to it."--Publishers Weekly (*Starred Review*)
"Well-researched narrative"--BusinessWeek
"Winchester brings Smith's struggle to life in clear and beautiful language."--New York Times Book Review
"Winchester has once again captured the essence of persistence against odds resulting in achievement."--Library Journal (starred review)
Smith s unsung life provides the perfect backdrop for yet another entertaining intellectual history. --Denver Post
Winchester masterfully weaves a compelling history. --Newsday
"A compelling human story" -- Boston Sunday Herald
"Well-researched narrative" -- BusinessWeek

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