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Publisher's Summary

An exciting scientific adventure from the days of wooden ships and iron men, Longitude is full of heroism and chicanery, brilliance and the absurd. It is also a captivating brief history of astronomy, navigation and clockmaking. During the great ages of exploration, "the longitude problem" was the gravest of all scientific challenges. Lacking the ability to determine their longitude, sailors were literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Ships ran aground on rocky shores; those traveling well-known routes were easy prey to pirates.
In 1714, England's Parliament offered a huge reward to anyone whose method of measuring longitude could be proven successful. The scientific establishment--from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton--had mapped the heavens in its certainty of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution--a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had been able to do on land. And the race was on....
©2005 Dava Sobel (P)2009 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Boots on 01-19-13

To hear Neil Armstongs Voice

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To really absorb this story I would recommend seeing the movie first, so you can put faces to the names in this great historical event. Dava's love of the subject is well written and read well. Hearing the prologue from Neil Armstrong about his love of the stars and his on quest to see the real clocks in England is thrilling in its self. I was a young teenager when he walked on the moon, and only know his famous words. If you have any maritime experience or any kind of navigational interest this is a must read for the knowledge it contains!

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 06-06-16


Longitude is a superb book about the quest to solve one of the most difficult scientific challenges of the 17th and 18th centuries, and one, moreover, that caused thousands of deaths.

Kate Reading's narration is accurate and clear, and lends itself well to the story.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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