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Round about the Earth [Audio]

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About the Author

Joyce E. Chaplin is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of History at Harvard University. She is the author of several books, including Subject Matter and The First Scientific American, which was the winner of the Annibel Jenkins Prize of American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to being an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, she has been nominated multiple times for a prestigious Audie Award, including for Good-bye and Amen by Beth Gutcheon.


"Hardship, frolic, barnstorming, and spiritual enigma shape this scintillating history of round-the-world travel." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

People who set out to travel around the world are a special breed, distinct from other explorers and travelers, says Chaplin (history, Harvard Univ.; The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius). What makes them so special? Chaplin posits that it's their ability to think on a planetary scale and that their voyages are measured in time, space, and death. Her book is divided into three acts of "geodrama," a term the author uses to describe how the around-the-world voyage requires the traveler to give his or her whole self over to the endeavor, initially to master the earth and, later, to protect it. "Fear" covers Magellan to Cook (1519-1775), when round-the-world travel was extremely dangerous and such explorers were lucky to survive. "Confidence" covers from the 1780s to the 1920s, when colonialism, and improvements in technology, made circumnavigation less risky. "Doubt" extends from the 1920s to the present, a period in which new modes of transportation took the traveler to new heights and dizzying speeds and even farther from terra firma. VERDICT This accessible and well-researched book offers a concise and compelling history of circumnavigation. It deserves a spot on all library shelves, especially libraries with exploration and geography collections, and is recommended to all armchair explorers.-Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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