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The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology Paperback – April 28, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 379 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

“Winchester masterfully weaves a compelling history.” (Newsday)

“Smith’s unsung life provides the perfect backdrop for yet another entertaining intellectual history.” (Denver Post)

"A compelling human story" (Boston Sunday Herald)

"Well-researched narrative" (BusinessWeek)

From the Back Cover

In 1793, a canal digger named William Smith made a startling discovery. He found that by tracing the placement of fossils, which he uncovered in his excavations, one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell—clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world—making it possible, for the first time ever, to draw a chart of the hidden underside of the earth. Smith spent twenty-two years piecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map. But instead of receiving accolades and honors, he ended up in debtors' prison, the victim of plagiarism, and virtually homeless for ten years more.

The Map That Changed the World is a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin. With a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.


Product details

  • Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
  • Paperback : 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0061767905
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0061767906
  • Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.83 x 8 inches
  • Publisher : Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 379 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
379 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

Maupertus
4.0 out of 5 stars Although I liked the idea and it was certainly very well written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2016
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Ms. C. B. Mclaglen
5.0 out of 5 stars The Map that Changed the World Simon Winchester
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 10, 2014
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M. Hillmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive reading on fossils and geology - you think I'm joking?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 25, 2009
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C. L. Muralidharan
4.0 out of 5 stars BONE DRY SUBJECT ELEGANTLY RETOLD:
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2011
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Sue at Bramcote
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping account of the birth of geology
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2002
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