- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743216768
- ISBN-13: 978-0743216760
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #547,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World Reprint Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
See the Best Books of 2017 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
The Boston Globe These are enthralling, fascinating, even mind-altering pages. Alder imbues the narrative with a tremulous, fever-soaked climax and a lengthy and satisfying denouement.
The Philadelphia Inquirer One of those rare works that both rewrite history and capture the imagination.
The New York Times Book Review Passes a central test of any popular work of history: it bathes the past in the light, life, and humanity of the eternal present.
About the Author
Ken Alder is a professor of history and Milton H. Wilson Professor of the Humanities at Northwestern University. He is the author of The Measure of All Things, published to worldwide acclaim in fourteen languages. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Let me explain. Ancient Sumeria used a system of measurement based on the length of a pendulum whose period was based on the rotation of the Earth relative to the sun. This period of 1/360 parts of a solar day could not be changed by King or commoner. This made it the first universal standard based on properties of the whole Earth. This standard, and its cousins which made use of the stars then the planet Venus to time the rotation of the earth could be easily be reproduced world wide and spread to China and Japan in the East and to Britain in the West. There is even some evidence that it spread to the new world well before the common era.
Mr Alder has written a compelling saga of the attempt to measure the circumference of the Earth in French revolutionary times, He fails to mention that this measurement had been made before the construction of the Great Pyramid and had been refined in the first millennium BCE achieving an accuracy of better than 0.05 percent.
While these facts may have not been known to the French Academy of Science at the time and were thus not central to the story they do indicate that the search for a Universal Standard of Measurement was an age old endeavor and that the earth itself was the measure of that standard.