How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World
The intricate vocabulary used to talk about land is one of the many pleasures The theme could not be more topical It packs in a wealth of ideas and human drama and gives a fresh view of centuries of social conflict seen through a geographers lens Financial Times Spend some time with Simon Winchester, and you will sail oceans, survive earthquakes, peer into volcanoes, pore over maps, mine the origins of language and measure the immeasurable world Poignant Winchester is good adding dashes of drama, narrative, indignation and, above all, connection to disparate historical accounts There is soul in this book A stirring call for communal imperatives, even if its history recounts the constant allure of private ownership Washington Post Moving across varied histories and geographies, he offers us one case study after another of how the once seemingly inexhaustible surface of the Earth has devolved into a commodity Winchester is a master at capturing the Old World wonder and romance His prose frequently exudes the comfort and charm of a beloved encyclopaedia come to life, centuries and continents abutting through the pages New Yorker Few authors of narrative nonfiction have ranged across the global landscape more widely In his latest engrossing voyage, the author turns to the land itself, covering a sizable portion of the 37 billion acres that compose the Earth [A] unique blend of wide-eyed curiosity, meticulous research, and erudite analysis Of course, this being Winchester, Land abounds with dozens of eye-opening factoids to please any fan of popular history But this is no mere bathroom book packed with intriguing facts. His storytelling talents on full display Winchesters colourfully rendered capsule biographies help to convey the gravity of certain historical milestones, and nearly 60 illustrations and photographs add to the experience Winchester is, once again, a consummate guide Boston Globe
Simon Winchester grew up beside the Atlantic in South West England and studied geology at Oxford. He is the bestselling author of The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, Krakatoa, The Map That Changed the World, The Surgeon of Crowthorne (The Professor and the Madman), The Fracture Zone, Outposts and Korea, among many other titles. In 2006 he was awarded the OBE. He lives in western Massachusetts and New York City.