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by Simon Winchester

ePub The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology download
Simon Winchester
HarperAudio; Unabridged edition (August 7, 2001)
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Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, The Map That Changed the World, The Man Who Loved China.

Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, The Map That Changed the World, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa, all of which were New York Times bestsellers and appeared on numerous best and notable lists. Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.

The Map that Changed the World is a book by Simon Winchester about English geologist William Smith and his great achievement, the first geological map of England and Wales. Smith's was the first national-scale geological map, and by far the most accurate of its time.

William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology. 27. Geological Time Scale. A note on the map insert

William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology. In days of old, old William Smith, While making a canal, Sir, Found out how the strata dipped to the east. A note on the map insert. The brilliance of William Smith’s achievement can be amply demonstrated by comparing his great map of 1815 with the one produced today by the British Geological Survey.

Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, The Map That Changed the World, The Man Who Loved China. He resides in western Massachusetts.

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Now Simon Winchester has given us a book that I can hand to my students and say, "here's how William Smith figured it all ou. In The Map That Changed The World, Simon Winchester [in a very British and somewhat. In The Map That Changed The World, Simon Winchester tells engagingly of the life of William 'Strata' Smith, surveyor, self-taught geologist, and maker of the first.

However, his en devour met with opposition from jealous aristocrats. William Smith was the son of a blacksmith who took up surveying as a profession after his father died. Mr. Winchester's presentation of the material completely destroyed any interest I may have had in William Smith's contribution to the founding of geological science.

From the author of the bestselling The Professor and the Madman comes the fascinating story of the father of modern geology

In 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head. While surveying the route for a canal near Bath, he noticed that the fossils found in one layer of the rocks he was excavating were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following these fossils one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped, rose and fell -- clear across England and clear across the world.

Obsessed with creating a map that would showcase his discovery, Smith spent the next twenty years traveling England alone, studying rock outcroppings and gathering information. In 1815 he published a hand-painted map more than eight feet tall and six feet wide. But four years later, swindled out of his profits, Smith ended up in debtors' prison. His wife went mad. He lived as a homeless man for ten long years.

Eventually a kindly aristocrat discovered him; Smith, the quiet genius and 'father of geology' was brought back to London and showered with the honors that he rightly deserved. Here now is his astounding story.

  • As a child I drew hundreds of maps for pleasure...and later, professionally, for the States of Connecticut and Delaware. Even without that kind of a background, however, I believe most readers would find this a most interesting tome. History; surveying; mining; geology; canal building...and the personalities involved, will surely interest the most laconic reader. I'm just sorry that I didn't know of the maps existence when we were in England; for I would surely have made an effort to view it. If you're planning a trip a trip to this book first !

  • Simon Winchester is a great author. I read his books about the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 and the eruption of Krakatoa..5 stars..see my reviews.

    The Map that Changed the World is about William Smith the "Father of Geology" and the Great Map of England's Geology that he created.

    We see William as a young man as a surveyor of coal mines and canals in England in the early 19th century as England was getting a great industrialization. He temporarily has a very good income but over stretched his finances, buying a large estate with a large mortgage, renting an expensive apartment, opening up a mine that fails and marrying a woman who develops heath problems and severe mental illnesses. He is fired from his job and tries getting smaller temporary jobs but eventually is thrown in "Debtors Prison". He is financially ruined.

    William through the decades learns about the different strata layers of the earth and the different fossils that are in certain layers. He learns the layers represent different ages of the earth and are very, very old.He believes much, much older than anyone thought. He battles people who for religious reasons believe that God created the earth in 1 day and the earth is way less than 10.000 years old. Today by carbon radioactive isotope dating, we know that some of these rock layers are hundreds of millions of years old and older. In William's early 1800th days no one knew this.

    Also a rich, snob member of the "Geologist Society" steals William's geology data and plagiarizes his great Map of England's underground Geology. A friend takes financially destroyed William and his wife in. Eventually the snobs in the Geology Society lose their power and William is recognized as the true "Father of Geology and the true creator of the great Map of England's Geology. William is given the ultimate recognition by his peers, the gold Wollaston Medal. Eventually, William gets his true Great colored Map of England's Geology printed and copies sold. He is given an Irish honorary doctorate degree and a $100LB pension from the English government. Finally he has the recognition as the "Father of English Geology and the creator of the Great Colored Large Map of English Geology.

    I won't ruin the ending for you. A great ending. Anyone interested in the history of Geology, fossils or map creation will enjoy this book plus you will learn a little about the different Earth layers and where some different kinds of fossils are located in the different layers/ages.

    I developed a lot of empathy for William Smith and gave a small cheer when he eventually gets his recognition as "Father of Geology", and the creator of the Great Colored large Map of English Geology a revolutionary breakthrough showing the underground geology layers that changed people's thinking about how the earth rock/layers were formed, the rock layers ages ,and life at differnt ages on earth) and happiness. 5 stars and recommended. Another winner by Simon Winchester!

  • If reading about a turning point in the way we view the world interests you, you should read this biography of William Smith. One of the pioneers of modern geology, Smith rose from humble origins to systematically map the geology of England. In doing so, he correlated the fossils uniquely found in each stratum, setting the stage for evolutionary theory. It is arguable that Smith made as much of an impact on our world view as Darwin.

    I listened to the CD version of this book, read by author Simon Winchester. Not only is the narration excellent, but this spared me from stumbling over the geological terms. Not that this is a textbook - you probably won't be able to recite the order of the strata in England after reading/listening, but Winchester was trained as a geologist, so you can trust his technical grasp of the issues, even if you don't particularly care. The book deals with the personal and professional struggles that Smith dealt with to get his work and his theories accepted and rewarded. It was a lifelong struggle, and one not fully recognized until near the end of Smith's life.

    Winchester's book lags a bit towards the end, when he describes Smith's gradually reduced circumstances, bankruptcy, and years of vagabond life. These chapters are far less interesting than the intellectual breakthrough he made earlier in his life. Nonetheless, I'd give this book a thumbs up for the light it sheds on an important scientific and intellectual advance.

  • After finishing this biography, I would say it was "exciting." But that was certainly not the feeling I had reading it. The author is too flowery, using long descriptions of the times and events and other personages. It took me three starts over five years to finally get into it, and to do so I had to skip a lot. If you like elaborate descriptions of England, and English society in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and looking up the meanings of obscure words you will love this book.

    Seven months later, I reread this review and felt it was too negative--gives the wrong impression. I still give the book four stars as I did previously, but don't know how to fix my own paragraph description so I shall let it stand and supply this supplemental note: It's kind of like watching all the Lord of the Ring movies. They were great but the sheer length is a deterrent from watching them again. In regard to this book, it was great and even the memories of it are still inspirational, but the excessive descriptions are a disincentive for rereading it again. Understand that this is only my preference, if you like or at least don't mind the descriptive passages you will love this book.

  • The book is wonderful and altho I'm not finished reading it, I gave it 5 stars already. I have a LOT of reading so I read my non-fictions in fits and starts when I get a chance (during commercials, while waiting at the doctor's office, etc.) This is one I'm having a hard time putting back down. Very well-written and thank goodness for guys (and gals) that had the courage to look beyond conventional thinking and look towards science. Good book - recommend to all!