The Tide by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
The Science and Stories Behind the Greatest Force on Earth

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Throughout the book, Aldersey-Williams’s inclusion of a range of stories gives a broad view of humans’ continued fascination with the movement of the waters.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

A rich and sweeping exploration into the science and history behind the most mysterious, primal, and powerful force on earth: the tide.

Half of the world’s population today lives in coastal regions lapped by tidal waters. But the tide rises and falls according to rules that are a mystery to almost all of us. In The Tide, celebrated science writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams weaves together centuries of scientific thinking with the literature and folklore the tide has inspired to explain the power and workings of this most remarkable force.

Here is the epic story of the long search to understand the tide: from Aristotle, who is said to have drowned himself in his efforts to figure out the Greek tides, to the pioneering investigations into the role of the moon by Galileo and Newton, to the quest to understand and even control the tide in our own time. Throughout, Aldersey-Williams whisks the reader along on his travels in search of the most remarkable tidal phenomena. He visits the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, where the tides are the strongest in the world; arctic Norway, home of the raging tidal whirlpool known as the maelstrom; and Venice, to investigate efforts to defend the city against flooding caused by the famed acqua alta.

Along the way, Aldersey-Williams delves into classic literary portrayals of the tide from Shakespeare to Dickens, Melville to Jules Verne. And he reveals the tidal truths behind the Homeric tale of Scylla and Charybdis, the biblical story of Moses parting the Red Sea, the conquests of Julius Caesar, the Boston Tea Party, and the D-Day landings in Normandy.

12 illustrations
 

About Hugh Aldersey-Williams

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Hugh Aldersey-Williams is the author of Periodic Tales, which has been published in ten languages, and The Most Perfect Molecule, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He lives in Norfolk, England.
 
Published September 20, 2016 by W. W. Norton & Company. 368 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jun 22 2016

Throughout the book, Aldersey-Williams’s inclusion of a range of stories gives a broad view of humans’ continued fascination with the movement of the waters.

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