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Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World Hardcover – October 7, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"inspiring." -The New York Times

“Authoritatively researched, clearly written, and beautifully illustrated, this book is best of its class.” (EO Wilson)

“Deborah Cramer’s achievement in creating this classic study of the world’s seas is destined for lasting importance. Her book is a hymn to something that is both beautiful and fragile, a fervent prayer that we recognize it as such, and an eloquent plea for all humankind to cherish it.” (Simon Winchesterauthor of Krakatoa and The Professor and the Madman)

“Rachel Carson wrote the ocean’s biography for the 20th century, and DeborahCramer, with the same passion and meticulous research, has written it for the21st. This book is a remarkable achievement.” (Linda Learauthor of Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature)

“This irresistible invitation to explore the ocean that gave birth to life itself,together with the imperative to know the living ocean and treat it with respect,should be in every home.” (Thomas E. LovejoyPresident, The Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment)

“With poetic grace and deep scientific savvy, Deborah Cramer eloquentlyconveys the sweeping history of the Earth from fiery origin throughthe explosion of life in the sea to the present era of profound human impact.Whether you seek information or inspiration, this volume is a must.” (Sylvia Earleoceanographer, deep sea explorer, and ocean activist)

“This elegant, lovingly written book immerses readers in the symbiosis between humanity and the sea. Deborah Cramer’s sweeping work introduces us to the ancestral ocean, on which human influence has now grown profound, and charges us to rejuvenate our essential partnership with its wondrous rhythms and life-giving waters.” (Paul EpsteinCenter for Global Health and the Environment, Harvard Medical School)

“Deborah Cramer has given us an eloquent life history of the ocean,natural and human, and rightly challenges us to exercise better stewardshipof the sea of the sea and leave a legacy of healthy oceans for our children.” (Michael SuttonVice President and Director, Center for the Future of the Oceans)

About the Author

Deborah Cramer writes about science, nature, and the environment. Currently a visiting scholar at MIT's Earth System Initiative, she is the author of Great Waters: An Atlantic Passage. She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian; First Edition edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061343838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061343834
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ocean Reader on January 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It seems like at any given time there are several larger format books about the ocean in circulation; none of them have come close to the extraordinary synthesis of beautiful, intelligent prose and eye-popping design that this book offers. I found I could read it straight through from its opening in Eden in the Depths, or dive in at The Long Migration or other selected places along the way, and in each case found myself drawn in immediately into Deborah Cramer's poetic text as it echoed off the elegant design, photographs, and maps. Definitely something I would recommend to friends and teachers everywhere.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte C. Gordon on January 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found this book enormously inspirational and informative. I enjoyed the pictures, but I loved Cramer's writing even more. She writes about science, hard science, in a beautiful readable way. This book is meticulously researched and yet easy to read -- an unusual combination. Everyone should own this book. It will motivate even the laziest reader to take action to protect the world's oceans. I am grateful to Cramer for writing such a distinctive and important book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By general reader on November 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book: it covers a vast amount of time and space in beautifuly written, easy to understand prose - accompanied by magnificent and photos that support the text.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By laila on January 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Smithsonian Oceans is a beautiful book in words as well as pictures. Cramer clearly explains the importance of the oceans from the beginning of life in the deep ocean to the many ways the oceans are critical to our life on land. The pictures draw you in and her words keep you there. It is a good book for all ages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Teemacs on February 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let's face it, the sheer gorgeousness of the pictures and layout are worth five stars alone. When this is allied with an excellent text, which is clear and crisp and not at all "dumbed down", the bargain that this book represents can no longer be denied. Thirdly, something not generally associated with the louder voices in the USA these days; social responsibility. An awareness that we are raping, plundering, polluting and destroying an environment that we have barely begun to understand. Those loud voices often espouse a God-given right to exploit the planet without fear of consequences, of pursuit of short-term gain at the expense of long-term survival of so many species, perhaps even our own. In this regard, the book's final paragraph cannot be bettered:

"We are a species blessed with language and awareness, knowledge and ingenuity, and an infinite capacity for imagination. May ours be a time when we reconceived our partnership with the sea and restored its life-giving waters to health and wholeness. May ours be a time when the sea's habitats and inhabitants, wherever they may be found true sanctuary...May ours be a time remembered when we embraced the sea as it embraces us"

Amen. James Smithson would be proud.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susannah C. Greenbaum on January 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although I live far from the sea, Cramer's book offered me an incredible opportunity to become acquainted with the world's oceans and our dependence on these waters. The author presents meticulously researched science through compelling, beautiful text and stunning photography. The unparalleled match of high quality science writing and spectacular images makes this book a rare treasure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hope D R on January 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book has everything, and things that are not even expected. This book is beyond complete, with every imaginable aspect about the ocean. It is full of great pictures, lots and lots of them, full of color, full of very interesting information. This book is a fantastic addition to our library!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Johns on January 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I recently heard Deborah Cramer on American Public Media's "The Story" and was intrigued as I listened to her account of how she came to write this book. This book was an incredible reminder of the beauty in the world around us, undersea. The vast number of photos were incredible and one could easily buy the book just for the arresting imagery however there's a lot more to this book than the photos. Deborah Cramer is a wonderful writer and her descriptions of the interconnectedness of our worlds undersea and on land is remarkable and leaves you with an important reminder: By preserving the seas, we are preserving ourselves.
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