Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers


Today's post is on Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers by Simon Winchester.  It is 480 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is a beautiful mix of pictures and art work of the pacific ocean. The intended reader likes history, grand stories, and good research. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book-
Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature.
As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World, the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow. With China on the rise, so, too, are the American cities of the West coast, including Seattle, San Francisco, and the long cluster of towns down the Silicon Valley.
Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long transformed us—tremendous

earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis—but its human history, from a Western perspective, is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s sixteenth-century circumnavigation. It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made.
In telling the story of the Pacific, Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between. He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila, visits aboriginals in northern Queensland, and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego, the land at the end of the world. His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway, a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands, a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor.
Winchester’s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none. And his historical understanding of the region is formidable, making Pacific a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty, myth, and imagination that is transforming our lives.

Review- An interesting look of the recent history of the Pacific ocean. Winchester starts in 1950 and goes to present day talking about the ten most important things that he thinks has happened in and to the ocean. The one problem I had was that Winchester goes into a little too much detail at parts.Winchester is a good writer with good research skills but I want his editor to help him get it under control. When Winchester is writing about history or the cultures around the pacific, I really enjoyed this book. But when he got into the very detailed math and science formulas he lost me. I have a science background but it was just not as interesting as narrative parts of the book. The research notes are good adding more detail and giving more information if you wanted to. In spite of needing a little less detail it was a good and interesting read.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I was given a copy of this book by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.