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A Thread Across the Ocean | [John Steele Gordon]

A Thread Across the Ocean

In a world in which news and information flashes around the globe in an instant, time lags are inconceivable. But they were a fact of life in the 19th century. One of those adept, impressively learned, sometimes impractical 19-century woodshed thinkers and tinkers, Cyrus Field, knew only a little of the hard science behind stringing a submarine telegraph cable that would link the financial markets of London and New York.
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Publisher's Summary

In a world in which news and information flashes around the globe in an instant, time lags are inconceivable. But they were a fact of life in the 19th century. One of those adept, impressively learned, sometimes impractical 19-century woodshed thinkers and tinkers, Cyrus Field, knew only a little of the hard science behind stringing a submarine telegraph cable that would link the financial markets of London and New York.

Field was not the first to conceive such a venture, but he was the first to act on the idea, writing to Samuel Morse and finding another ally in the naval surveyor and architect Matthew Fontaine Maury. With the limited sum of $1.5 million, Field and company eventually managed to make the transatlantic cable a reality, and even if its early iterations turned out to be duds, their work did in fact revolutionize communications and "laid down the foundations of what would become...a global village."

A Thread Across the Ocean is a satisfying book for the budding entrepreneur and general readers as well.

©2002 John Steele Gordon; (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This is an appealing account...and an entertaining reminder of the storied past of expensive technology gambles." (Publishers Weekly)
"Gordon, a business historian, skillfully and briskly recounts the saga of the transatlantic telegraph project....Gordon's evocation of Field's pioneering spirit will fascinate tech-history buffs." (Booklist

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  •  
    Derek Malley 09-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great audiobook"

    on the surface you might question how such an event could be converted into an audiobook in an attempt to captivate the listener. On all fronts this book was very well executed, the narrator puts enough inflection and pace to maintain the listeners interest throughout. From the daring concept of the project through the main protagonists and on to the many testing circumstances there are no flat periods in this book at all.
    I would heartily recommend this audiobook

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Moorestown, NJ, USA 03-30-09
    Eric Moorestown, NJ, USA 03-30-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Good stuff."

    Gordon provides a solid historical account of (to me) a sometimes overlooked, undertold story of a wildly ambitous endeavor. I was left with a new appreciation for this undertaking and 19th century communications in general.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Phoenix, MD, United States 01-05-10
    Sarah Phoenix, MD, United States 01-05-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Good listen"

    interesting story, well read and entertaining

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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