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“The South Pole discovered” trumpeted the front page of The Daily Chronicle on March 8, 1912, marking Roald Amundsen’s triumph over the tragic Robert Scott. Yet behind all the headlines there was a much bigger story. Antarctica was awash with expeditions. In 1912, five separate teams representing the old and new world were diligently embarking on scientific exploration beyond the edge of the known planet. Their discoveries not only enthralled the world, but changed our understanding of the planet forever.
The Exploration for Real and Mythical Treasures in the AmericasFor half a millennium, stories of vast treasures—El Dorado, Manoa, the Seven Cities of Cibola, the Lost Dutchman Mine—have been part of the lore of the Americas. Long before the Europeans set foot in the New World, myths and rumors of fabulous wealth in distant lands, such as the kingdom of Prester John, were told and retold so often that they were assumed to be true. When Spanish explorers first made contact with the Aztec and Inca civilizations, they found cultures that were literally dripping with gold.
A Nature Book of the Year (The Times (UK))“The hoverflies are only props. No, not only, but to some extent. Here and there, my story is about something else.”A mesmerizing memoir of extraordinary brilliance by an entomologist, The Fly Trap chronicles Fredrik Sjöberg’s life collecting hoverflies on a remote island in Sweden. Warm and humorous, self-deprecating and contemplative, and a major best seller in its native country, The Fly Trap is a meditation on the unexpected beauty of small things and an exploration of the history of entomology itself.W
In 1492 Columbus set out across the Atlantic; in 1776 American colonists declared their independence. Between these two events old authorities collapsed—Luther’s Reformation divided churches, and various discoveries revealed the ignorance of the ancient Greeks and Romans. A new, empirical worldview had arrived, focusing now on observation, experiment, and mathematical reasoning. This engaging book takes us along on the great voyage of discovery that ushered in the modern age. David Knight, a distinguished historian of science, locates the Scientific Revolution in the great era of global oceanic voyages, which became both a spur to and a metaphor for scientific discovery.
Ever since Christopher Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria onto what is today San Salvador, in the Bahamas, and announced that he had arrived in the Orient, the Caribbean has been a stage for projected fantasies and competition between world powers. In Empire’s Crossroads, British American historian Carrie Gibson traces the story of this coveted area from the northern rim of South America up to Cuba, and from discovery through colonialism to today, offering a vivid, panoramic view of this complex region and its rich, important history.A
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