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Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World by Simon Winchester at Abbey's Bookshop,

Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World

Simon Winchester


9780008241773

Harper Collins


Mathematics & Sciences;
Popular science;
Inventions & inventors;
Precision instruments manufacture;
Advocate - Science


Paperback

336 pages

$32.99
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Bestselling author Simon Winchester writes a magnificent history of the pioneering engineers who developed precision machinery to allow us to see as far as the moon and as close as the Higgs boson.

Precision is the key to everything. It is an integral, unchallenged and essential component of our modern social, mercantile, scientific, mechanical and intellectual landscapes. The items we value in our daily lives - a camera, phone, computer, bicycle, car, dishwasher - all have components that fit together with precision and operate with near perfection.

We also assume that the more precise a device, the better it is. And yet while our lives are peppered and larded with precision, we are not entirely sure what precision is or what it means. How and when did it begin to build the modern world?

Simon Winchester seeks to answer these questions through stories of precision's pioneers. Exactly takes us back to the origins of the Industrial Age, to Britain where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John `Iron-Mad' Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden and Joseph Whitworth. Thomas Jefferson exported their discoveries to the United States as manufacturing developed in the early 20th century, with Britain's Henry Royce developing the Rolls Royce and Henry Ford mass producing cars, then Hattori's Seiko and Leica lenses, to today's cutting-edge developments from Europe, Asia and North America.

As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?

By:   Simon Winchester
Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   510g
ISBN:   9780008241773
ISBN 10:   0008241775
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   May 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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.


Praise for Simon Winchester: 'Splendid. Lively, pacy, riveting. We learn a great deal and Winchester, storyteller to the core, wears his erudition lightly' Spectator 'Winchester unfolds this epic narrative with admirable simplicity: his prose style is conversational, and crackles with strange images. He marries even-handed scholarship with a gift for storytelling, neither dumbing down nor assuming any specific knowledge in his readership. This is from start to finish an enthralling book, and one that does justice to the magnitude of its subject' Edmund Gordon, Sunday Times 'Illuminating...a wonderful, encyclopaedic book, pinpointing key moments in the narrative of an entire ocean and our relationship to it' Philip Hoare, Sunday Telegraph `[A] fabulous book' Scotsman 'Winchester proves himself not just a fine researcher and storyteller, but also a gifted stylist. He is the perfect narrator for such a catastrophe' Observer `An engaging account' Mail on Sunday `[Winchester] is maddeningly gifted ... a rollicking ride' Washington Post `Enjoyable and richly informative' Telegraph 'Bracingly apocalyptic stuff: atmospheric, chock full of information and with a constantly escalating sense of pace and tension' Sunday Telegraph `Gripping. Takes us right to the heart of the worst natural disaster in recorded history. Winchester makes an excellent companion' Daily Telegraph

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