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Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by [Dava Sobel]
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Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,466 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

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In the 1700s navigators could easily compute latitude, but finding longitude was nigh impossible. So valuable was a solution in terms of saving ships from fetching on rocks that England offered a munificent prize for a practicable method, and soon two avenues offered themselves. An accurate chronometer occupied the thoughts of clockmaker John Harrison, and a tediously compiled catalog of the stars, against which the moon could be used as a "clock," was pursued by astronomers. Sobel presents the contest's course with a stylish mix of technical and human insight that emphasizes Harrison's life and dealings with the stingy Board of Longitude, custodian of the prize. When his contraption, the fruit of decades of solitary labor, went to sea and seemingly met the requirements, the Board balked, not least because one of its members was the very astronomer working on the celestial method. His glory dimmed by raw rivalry, Harrison fell into obscurity, and his chronometers into disrepair until restored 60 years ago. Completing the rehabilitation, Sobel's is an exquisitely told tale of perseverance, disappointment, and vindication. Gilbert Taylor

About the Author

Dana Sobel is the bestselling author of Longitude, Galileo's Daughter, The Planets, co-author of The Illustrated Longitude, and editor of Letters to Father. She lives in East Hampton, New York.


Product details

  • File Size: 1896 KB
  • Print Length: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (July 5, 2010)
  • Publication Date: July 5, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003WUYE66
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,874 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,466 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2017
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Top international reviews

T. K. Elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging overview of the solution(s) to the longitude problem - recommended
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2018
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weltonian
2.0 out of 5 stars Good. It could be much better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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Bern
5.0 out of 5 stars A Concise and Interesting Story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2017
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jon allan homan
5.0 out of 5 stars Dava Sobel`s creative genius
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2019
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markr
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating account of the competition to solve where we are
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2014
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burbex_brin
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps Ticking Along
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2020
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P BORG-BARTOLO
5.0 out of 5 stars THE "HARRISONS' - what an achievement! 'LONGITUDE' - what a book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2014
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SSS
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 13, 2013
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Andy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2018
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2018
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camperman
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for people who are interested in maritime history or the struggles to succeed over bureaucracy.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 15, 2018
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melbourne66
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book about measuring time.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2020
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Robert Hanson
5.0 out of 5 stars "Mechanical Genius"
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2019
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Jana
4.0 out of 5 stars Politically Intriguing!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2019
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The tenacity and integrity of this man was remarkable!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2018
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