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

David Baron. Liveright, $27.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-63149-016-3
Science journalist Baron (The Beast in the Garden) shares a timely tale of science and suspense in this story of rival Gilded Age astronomers contending with everything from cloudy skies to train robbers to observe the historic total solar eclipse of July 29, 1878. American scientists got little respect from their European counterparts in the 19th century, so when astronomers predicted an eclipse with a path of totality visible across much of the American West, reputation-bolstering plans to observe the spectacle were quickly hatched at universities across the nation. Baron focuses on three vibrant personalities: astronomy professor James Craig Watson, a planet hunter with a somewhat shady reputation; groundbreaking Vassar astronomer Maria Mitchell, who was determined to prove that women were as capable of great scientific work as any man; and ambitious inventor Thomas Edison, who’d built a scientific instrument that he hoped would prove he was more than a mere tinkerer. Hopping between the three narratives, Baron skillfully builds tension, giving readers a vivid sense of the excitement, hard work, and high stakes in play. With the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in 99 years set to occur in late August 2017, this engrossing story makes an entertaining and informative teaser. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 06/06/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5094-5961-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-577-9
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-63149-017-0
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