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Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life
 
 
Author
Richard Cohen.
Publisher Random House  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
ISBN 9781400068753
Pages/Publication Date 574/2010
Daedalus Item Code 20565
List Price: $35.00
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Description
In the grand tradition of the scholar-adventurer, swordsman and publisher Richard Cohen takes us around the world to illuminate our relationship with the star that gives us life in this erudite, anecdotal, and beautifully illustrated history. Cohen reports from locations in 18 different countries, including the Novolazarevskaya science station in Antarctica (the coldest place on Earth), the Arizona desert (the sunniest), the Pope's observatory-cum-fortress outside Rome (possibly the least accessible of the lot), and the crest of Mount Fuji, where he welcomes the sunrise on the longest day of the year. He also finds the sun in ancient religions and emperor's emblems, in Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Nabokov's Lolita, and in the string of scientific discoveries that led to duplicating the sun in the hydrogen bomb.

"Cohen (By the Sword) visited 18 countries to gather information for this ambitious and unusual literary opus, including Peru, where he witnessed the reenactment of an Inca ceremony welcoming the summer solstice, and Japan, where he climbed a snow-covered Mt. Fuji. He hunted the mythology embedded in the works of Shakespeare, Nabokov ('I must be the only person to have read Lolita for its Sun images'), Dante, Chaucer, and other authors, and personally examined the orientation of the Egyptian Pyramids and European cathedrals. This vast effort touches on the modern age shepherded by Copernicus and Galileo, and the author labels 200 discoveries related to solar energy in the 1870s a 'scientific revolution' which would lead directly to the hydrogen bomb. He goes on to sound a cautionary note on climate change extremism, warning that there is still no consensus on the influence of solar cycles on climate (he goes so far as to raise the possibility of another ice-age). Cohen was compelled to write 'the sort of book I'd like to read,' a risky position for a writer seeking a broad readership, but one that more than pays off."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
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