Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories

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9780061702587: Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories

The definitive biography of the world's most important body of water – the Atlantic.

One hundred and ninety million years ago, the shifting of two of the world's tectonic plates led to the creation of an immense chasm. This giant gash in the flanks of the planet slowly opened up and eventually evolved into the most important and most travelled ocean in our world.

In this utterly original biography, Simon Winchester explores the life of the Atlantic; it's birth, its relationship with mankind, and what lies in store for it once man has left the stage. He charts the development of the first settlements by the Oceanside – the communities of Celts and Vikings and whose lives depended on the sea – and delves into the age of exploration, venturing to forgotten worlds. The building of some of the world's most beautiful port cities – London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Casablanca – is also examined, along with the creation of settlements and colonies in and around the sea.

Completely unique and highly readable, Atlantic takes its reader on a wonderful journey through time, along the waves of our planet's most significant ocean.

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Review:

'Winchester unfolds this epic narrative with admirable simplicity: his prose style is conversational, and crackles with strange images. He marries even-handed scholarship with a gift for storytelling, neither dumbing down nor assuming any specific knowledge in his readership. This is from start to finish an enthralling book, and one that does justice to the magnitude of its subject' Edmund Gordon, Sunday Times

'Illuminating…a] wonderful, encyclopaedic book, pinpointing key moments in the narrative of an entire ocean and our relationship to it' Philip Hoare, Sunday Telegraph

‘[A] fabulous book’ Scotsman

‘An engaging account’ Mail on Sunday

‘[Winchester] is maddeningly gifted … a rollicking ride’ Washington Post

‘Enjoyable and richly informative’ Telegraph

From the Back Cover:

The definitive biography of the world's most important body of water – the Atlantic.

Born 190 million years ago, the Atlantic Ocean was viewed by ancient mariners with a mixture of awe, terror and amazement. Today, we cross ‘the pond’ with little thought, this vast sea perceived by most as no more than a passageway between the Earth’s continents.

In this dazzling biography Simon Winchester brings the Atlantic back to life, charting the ocean’s existence up until its eventual extinction, millions of years in the future. As he travels around its edges and across its expanse, he reveals its most captivating stories – the age of exploration; the colonization of the Americas; the rise and fall of the slave trade; and history’s great naval battles – resulting in an irresistible blend of gripping history, fascinating science and exhilarating reportage.

'Illuminating… [A] wonderful, encyclopedic book, pinpointing key moments in the narrative of an entire ocean and our relationship to it. From start to finish an enthralling book’ Sunday Times

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