The epic life story of the Atlantic Ocean from the bestselling author, Simon WinchesterIn a narrative tour de force, Simon Winchester dramatises the life story of the Atlantic Ocean, from its birth in the farther recesses of geological time to its eventual extinction millions of years in the future.At the core of the book is the story of mankind's complex relationship with this immense sea, which stretches for 9,000 miles from pole to pole. The Atlantic has profoundly influenced the lives of those who have lived along its shores, from hardscrabble pioneers in windswept locations such as the Aran Islands and Newfoundland, to the inhabitants of the great port cities of Lisbon, Rio, London and New York.‘Atlantic’ brings to life key episodes in this compelling human drama – the age of exploration and the subsequent colonisation of the Americas; the flourishing of transatlantic commerce and the rise and fall of the slave trade; extraordinary tales of sea-borne emigration during the nineteenth century; and the great naval battles that have left an indelible imprint on Atlantic history.Travelling by small sailing craft, container ship and general cargo vessel, Simon Winchester will journey around the edges and across the vast expanse of the ocean to report from the places that encapsulate its most fascinating stories. It is an enthralling mixture of history, science and reportage from a master of narrative non-fiction, and the definitive account of this magnificent body of water.
Travelling the circumference of the truly gigantic Pacific, Simon Winchester tells the story of the world’s largest body of water, and – in matters economic, political and military – the ocean of the future.The Pacific is a world of tsunamis and Magellan, of the Bounty mutiny and the Boeing Company. It is the stuff of the towering Captain Cook and his wide-ranging network of exploring voyages, Robert Louis Stevenson and Admiral Halsey. It is the place of Paul Gauguin and the explosion of the largest-ever American atomic bomb, on Bikini atoll, in 1951. It has an astonishing recent past, an uncertain present and a hugely important future.The ocean and its peoples are the new lifeblood, fizz and thrill of America – which draws so many of its minds and so much of its manners from the sea – while the inexorable rise of the ancient center of the world, China, is a fixating fascination. The presence of rogue states – North Korea most notoriously today – suggest that the focus of the responsible world is shifting away from the conventional post-war obsessions with Europe and the Middle East, and towards a new set of urgencies. Navigating the newly evolving patterns of commerce and trade, the world’s most violent weather and the fascinating histories, problems and potentials of the many Pacific states, Simon Winchester’s thrilling journey is a grand depiction of the future ocean.