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American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World (Paperback)

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American Eclipse deconstructs the eclipse to its earthly ties while lacing mid-America to the moon and back. Following three characters across the plains to the point of totality, each with their distinct reasons for converging on such a historic event to the American people, but each a showcase for the greater trends and movements turning the USA to the power it holds today. A must for anyone persuaded by historical astronomy.

— Ian

Description


Longlisted for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing

Winner of the AIP Science Communication Award

An Amazon Best Book of the Year (Science)

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Book of the Year

Finalist for the Colorado Book Award (Nonfiction)

Booklist Editors’ Choice (Science & Technology)


This “suspenseful narrative history” (Maureen Corrigan, NPR) brings to life the momentous eclipse that enthralled a nation and thrust American science onto the world stage.


On a scorching July afternoon in 1878, at the dawn of the Gilded Age, the moon’s shadow descended on the American West, darkening skies from Montana Territory to Texas. This rare celestial event—a total solar eclipse—offered a priceless opportunity to solve some of the solar system’s most enduring riddles, and it prompted a clutch of enterprising scientists to brave the wild frontier in a grueling race to the Rocky Mountains. Acclaimed science journalist David Baron, long fascinated by eclipses, re-creates this epic tale of ambition, failure, and glory in a narrative that reveals as much about the historical trajectory of a striving young nation as it does about those scant three minutes when the blue sky blackened and stars appeared in mid-afternoon.


Lauded as a “sweeping, compelling” (Wall Street Journal) work of science history, American Eclipse tells the story of the three tenacious and brilliant scientists who raced to Wyoming and Colorado to observe the rare event. Dedicating years of “exhaustive research to reconstruct a remarkable chapter of U.S. history” (Scientific American), award-winning writer David Baron brings to three-dimensional life these competitors—the planet-hunter James Craig Watson, pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell, and the ambitious young inventor Thomas Edison—to thrillingly re-create the fierce jockeying of nineteenth-century American astronomy. With spellbinding accounts of train robberies and Indian skirmishes, the mythologized age of the Wild West comes alive as never before. An “enthralling” (Daniel Kevles) and magnificent portrayal of America’s dawn as a scientific superpower, American Eclipse depicts a young nation that looked to the skies to reveal its towering ambition and expose its latent genius.

About the Author


David Baron, an award-winning journalist and author of The Beast in the Garden, is a former science correspondent for NPR and former science editor for the public radio program The World. An incurable umbraphile whose passion for chasing eclipses began in 1998, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781631494550
ISBN-10: 1631494554
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018
Pages: 352
Language: English
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 9/16/2017 06:58pm
Last Updated At: 3/31/2020 07:06am