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

American Eclipse A Nation s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World AN PICK FOR BEST BOOKS OF A suspenseful narrative history transcendent Maureen Corrigan NPR s Fresh Air In the scorching summer of with the Gilded Age in its infancy three tenacious and br

  • Title: American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World
  • Author: DavidBaron
  • ISBN: 9781631490163
  • Page: 158
  • Format: Hardcover
  • AN PICK FOR BEST BOOKS OF 2017 A suspenseful narrative history transcendent Maureen Corrigan NPR s Fresh Air In the scorching summer of 1878, with the Gilded Age in its infancy, three tenacious and brilliant scientists raced to Wyoming and Colorado to observe a rare total solar eclipse One sought to discover a new planet Another an adventuresome feAN PICK FOR BEST BOOKS OF 2017 A suspenseful narrative history transcendent Maureen Corrigan NPR s Fresh Air In the scorching summer of 1878, with the Gilded Age in its infancy, three tenacious and brilliant scientists raced to Wyoming and Colorado to observe a rare total solar eclipse One sought to discover a new planet Another an adventuresome female astronomer fought to prove that science was not anathema to femininity And a young, megalomaniacal inventor, with the tabloid press fast on his heels, sought to test his scientific bona fides and light the world through his revelations David Baron brings to three dimensional life these three competitors James Craig Watson, Maria Mitchell, and Thomas Edison and thrillingly re creates the fierce jockeying of nineteenth century American astronomy With spellbinding accounts of train robberies and Indian skirmishes, the mythologized age of the last days of the Wild West comes alive as never before A 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 A sweeping, compelling portrait of the scientific and social aspirations of Gilded Age Americans Wall Street Journal A timely tale of science and suspense Publishers Weekly starred review Baron brilliantly presents these three pioneers, their ambitions, and their struggles As America again prepares to experience solar totality, Baron transports us to a remarkable moment that brought a nation together to witness the wonders of the heavens Booklist starred review This fascinating portrait of the Gilded Age is suffused with the peculiar magic and sense of awe that have always attended eclipses, those fraught few minutes when day becomes night, time stands still and anything seems possible Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Thunder and In the Kingdom of Ice Brilliantly researched and beautifully crafted, American Eclipse conveys historical discoveries and scientific obsessions with the verve and excitement of a work of fiction John Pipkin, author of The Blind Astronomer s Daughter

    One thought on “American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World”

    1. Another nonfiction book that wasn't bad but I didn't enjoy because of my own personal tastes. I got pretty bored reading about scientists trying to go out of their way just to observe an eclipse, and I couldn't relate with the authors clearly visceral feelings towards eclipses. I don't even get why properly measuring and observing an eclipse was even something that would put the US on the map and make our science community respectable because again I'm jut like wow the sun was blocked out great [...]

    2. If I had any doubts that the world is still obsessed with eclipses, I need only turn on the television or look online or at a newspaper to set me straight. In two days Americans will see the most famous total solar eclipse in decades and everywhere I go people are talking about it. Granted, we no longer feel that we need to sacrifice virgins to volcanos to get the sun to return but in our way, we are still enthralled by a mystical attraction to the most astounding astronomical event most people [...]

    3. I personally loved this book. As I sit in my home that is directly in the path of the August 21, 2017 Total Eclipse I can begin to experience to excitement that the 1878 Eclipse generated to a much less sophisticated society. So much has happened in the last 139 years in terms of exploration of the galaxy, the moon, the stars and the sun and yet this book transports us back to a simpler time, a time when people did not know that helium existed and that it is one of the two elements that causes t [...]

    4. I was fortunate enough to live just a couple hours from the path of totality of what is being called 2017 Great American Eclipse, and was even more fortunate to have a Mom who lived in the path so I had a convenient place to stay. I purchased nd read this book to give me a better idea of what I could look forward to. Although I did learn a whole lot about eclipses, what I enjoyed most about this book was how very difficult women scientist of the time had it. I mean it really sucked being a femal [...]

    5. July 29th, 1878 A total eclipse that made an arcing line from Alaska swooping down to Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. It was a great American eclipse and the time was an alignment of more than celestial bodies in American history. This was a period in US history where a recognizably modern technological industrialized nation was emerging to become the major power we all recognize. This book drinks in the spirit of the times and the science community in the US be it the astronomy groups that flocke [...]

    6. I'm at 35% and I have no motivation to go further. The storyline with Maria Mitchell was interesting. The writing style didn't work for me. It felt like a lecture and came across so boring. It may have gotten better if I had actually gotten to the eclipse portion but I felt like I had already sentenced this book to its death.

    7. This book perfectly captured the thrill of seeing a total solar eclipse, and gave me some interesting background on the scientists who pinned all their hopes on what the 1878 eclipse would bring them. In the end, it was probably a lot more background than I really wanted, for instance, on Thomas Edison, whose invention (to be tested at the time of the eclipse) turned out to be just reallyunimportant.I did find it interesting to read about the female astronomer Maria Mitchell, fighting for women [...]

    8. Appearing just before the total eclipse that will across the United States on August 21, 2017, this book deals with the total eclipse of 1878, the last time there was such an event across a wide swath of the United States. This year, there are reams of material to describe what is gong to happen on the day of the event, as well as detailed maps that show where one can go to be in the area of maximum total darkness when the moon totally blocks the sun. Back in 1878, things weren't so precise.Auth [...]

    9. This was an interesting read after watching the total eclipse of the sun this summer - shout out to my friend Beth who sent me this book after we viewed the eclipse together! The author states that he purposely prepared and released this book to coincide with the 2017 American Eclipse. He focuses on the 1878 total eclipse that crossed America and some of the major players that were making efforts to travel and study the event.We started by listening to this one in the car, but I would not recomm [...]

    10. This was a great history book to read if you plan on chasing the upcoming American eclipses in 2017 or 2024 or any other eclipse in the future. This is a timeless book. I was afraid it would be some rush job to try to capitalize on the furor this year, without a lot of effort put into it. I was afraid it would be a piece of crap. I read it aloud to my kids. We all loved it. It was great history-writing, standing alone. Whether following the Vulcan-chasing Watson, the feminine-advancing Maria Mit [...]

    11. I read this book after returning from my own total solar eclipse expedition in Missouri. I spent a couple of days driving each way, and booked hotels on Starwood Hotels’s website. I found an ideal spot to view it using NASA’s interactive online map – I got exactly 2 minutes and 39.6 seconds of totality, and checked the satellite weather on my smartphone with The Weather Network app. A hundred and thirty-nine years ago, however, such an expedition would have taken months to plan, required t [...]

    12. The title lets readers know that the book will be about a particular eclipse, but the introduction left me wanting more anecdotes about earlier solar eclipses. Nonetheless, this was a satisfying read that focused on all the luminaries who gathered to witness the eclipse of 1786. It was fascinating to learn about the scientists who were making discoveries (planets, stars, comets) across the universe and the things they were racing each other to dicsover first.

    13. My well-read hairdresser recommended this to me, knowing my family is getting ready to go camping and view this even this year. When the author was featured at a speaker at our local library, my husband and I decided to check it out and see if we could learn something. He was a dynamic speaker and sparked our interest.The book focuses on three figures who were historically significant to American (and world) culture because of their involvement with the viewing of America's eclipse of 1978, incl [...]

    14. A fantastic nonfiction account of the human and scientific experience of a solar eclipse. This book touched me on a more profound level than I ever expected and I definitely didn't think it would bring me to tears. (Several times, in a public park and an airport.) Thank you, David Barron, for this incredible book!

    15. This was an interesting introduction to solar eclipses by looking at one particular eclipse in US history. Aspects of the natural phenomenon are told through the efforts of three scientists to travel West (at a time when the West was still rather wild) to view a total solar eclipse on July 29, 1878. Traveling from the settled East to the West (specifically to Colorado and Wyoming) was a challenging undertaking and an adventure in itself in those early Gilded Age years. The focus is on three indi [...]

    16. This very timely account of the solar eclipse of 1878 shows how the study of astronomy and that event was linked to many things, from the American quest to be serious students of science (on the world stage) to women's rights to the quest to discover more planetsd more. It was interesting to see the different stories, which included inventor Thomas Edison, female astronomer and Vassar professor Maria Mitchell and other major scientists of the day. One of my favorite quotes was about the lack of [...]

    17. I had requested this book from the library to read in preparation for the big event in August. There were so many ahead of me that it didn't arrive until September. In hindsight I think that was a good thing - I could relate to the descriptions of shadow bands and crescent shadows under trees, Bailey beads and the rest on a visceral level. As someone who is seriously considering adding "becoming an umbraphile" -scientific word for an eclipse chaser, to my bucket list, it was interesting to read [...]

    18. Where is the author of American Eclipse? This August, if he is not on a book tour, he will be heading to Wyoming to witness a total solar eclipse in the US. David Baron has a “case of total solar eclipse fever.” Who can blame him after reading his engaging account of the US solar eclipse in 1887? It was the beginning of the Gilded Age and the end of the Civil War. There were disputed Presidential elections, European elitism, a skepticism of science and innovation, superstition, fake news, wa [...]

    19. We all remember the hype and interest of recent total solar eclipse. This books goes back in history to examine the eclipse of 1878, in a world that in many ways was much different than ours and in some ways very much the same. The book tells the story of several groups of renowned scientists in their quest to study and experience the eclipse. They gathered in the Rocky Mountains, as the path of totality took them to downtown Denver, the top of Pikes Peak, and Rawlins Wyoming. Then as now the ex [...]

    20. Very informative book about the eclipse of the summer of 1878 and three of the scientists (or rather, two scientists and one inventor) who observed the eclipse and wrote about it: James Craig Watson, Maria Mitchell, and Thomas Edison, and how the observations contributed to the U.S. taking its place in the world's scientific community. The book also discussed how some astronomers at that time believed there was another planet between the sun and Mercury, which they referred to as "Vulcan," and t [...]

    21. American Eclipse is an indepth look at the history of the 1878 total solar eclipse, focusing on three American scientists, Thomas Edison, James Watson and Maria Mitchell. Baron highlights the quest which American scientists undertook to be taken seriously by their European counterparts and the common argument of the 1880's which stated women were ruined by higher education. Maria Mitchel paved the way for American women and suffered the many indignities of being viewed as the weaker sex. Thankfu [...]

    22. Interesting descriptions of the characters who witnessed the 1870s solar eclipse in Colorado and Wyoming. Timely reading for those heading to see the American Eclipse 2017.

    23. As an amateur historian and a professional scientist, with a PhD in spectroscopy, this book was a perfect blend of my interests. I'm used to working with very sophisticated equipment. I'm impressed with the sorts of measurements that were achieved with basic equipment in such an undeveloped setting.

    24. I listened to this one in the weeks before, the day of, and after the eclipse of 2017. I think that experience probably elevated my review of this book. I really enjoyed parts about Edison, the science discoveries in the 1800s, women in science and the description of totality but other parts of the book were a bit slow. This much is for certain: I am chasing the next solar eclipse in 2024.

    25. I heard a radio interview with this author last summer. I can't remember if it was before or after I traveled to Wyoming to for the total solar eclipse, but my love of history coupled with experiencing totality for myself set this book on my to-read shelf. Baron tells the story of an eclipse that crossed over the western United states in 1878. At this time, the United States' scientific community was really trying to establish itself as an equal alongside the scientists of Europe. Thomas Edison [...]

    26. "A total eclipse is a primal, transcendent experience. The shutting off of the sun does not bring utter darkness; it is more like falling through a trapdoor into a dimly lit, unrecognizable reality. The sky is not the sky of the earth-neither the star-filled dome of night nor the immersive blue of daylight, but an ashen ceiling of slate."I grabbed this book after experiencing the magnificent total solar eclipse of August 2017. American Eclipse describes a young country recovering from a bloody w [...]

    27. A lot more than just about the eclipse of 1878 that passed over the Rocky Mountain region. It included background on Thomas Edison and his many inventions, Mariah Mitchell and her push for women in the field of science, and other astronomy-related scientists of the time. Good narrator (didn't realize until after I started that it was by the same person that narrated Eruption).

    28. it was interesting to read this book only a month or so after a total eclipse here in Illinois, but I have to confess that's not the reason I chose the book. I thought the title was merely a metaphor for what I sensed from the jacket notes was a transition to a more scientific mindset in the American culture. I also was curious to contemplate the contrast with the Wild West of "Dodge City," the book I had just finished about Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and Doc Holliday and an unruly, barely civili [...]

    29. I like the 19th century. So long ago that it is many social eras distanced from today. Yes, with the technological wonders of that time to amaze us, we had photography to capture the action scenes. We had sound recordings to immortalize the music and speeches, scheduled coast-to-coast train rides. Steam power. Those halcyon days can feel close enough to touch, or even more fun, fantasize about the good times. So, David Baron takes on this 1878 social story with a science backdrop is more about t [...]

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