Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea

Christine Garwood, Author . St. Martin’s/Dunne $26.95 (436p) ISBN 978-0-312-38208-7

Garwood, historian of science at the Open University in England, presents a thoroughly enjoyable first book. Examining the belief that the world is flat from a wide array of perspectives, she makes some important points. She demonstrates quite convincingly, for example, that, contrary to what most people believe, the ancients knew the world was not flat: “the earth has been widely believed to be a globe since the fifth century B.C.” Only in the 19th century did acceptance of a flat earth spread, promoted largely by biblical literalists. Garwood does an impressive job of comparing those flat-earthers with modern-day creationists. She also makes the case that it’s all but impossible to argue effectively with true believers. Modern believers assert that the space program is a hoax. In 1994, on the 25th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon, a Washington Post poll estimated that approximately 20 million Americans thought the landing was staged on Earth, underscoring that some outrageous beliefs still hold sway. Garwood is respectful throughout, analyzing the philosophical underpinnings of those who have doubted, and continue to doubt, the Earth’s rotundity. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/23/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Show other formats
Paperback - 436 pages - 978-0-330-43289-4
Hardcover - 436 pages - 978-1-4050-4702-9
Open Ebook - 436 pages - 978-0-330-54007-0
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4299-8694-6
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-1-4472-7246-5
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.