The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error that Transformed the World Audiobook | Ken Alder | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error that Transformed the World | [Ken Alder]

The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error that Transformed the World

In researching one of history's greatest scientific quests, a mission to measure the Earth and define the meter, Ken Alder stumbled on a 200-year-old secret: The meter, it turns out, is in error. This is a story of two men, a secret, and a timeless human dilemma: is it permissible to perpetuate a small lie in the service of a larger truth?
Regular Price:$21.27
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Amid the chaos of the French Revolution, two astronomers set out in opposite directions from Paris to measure the world, one voyaging north to Dunkirk, the other south to Barcelona. Their findings would help define the meter as one ten-millionth of the distance between the pole and the equator. The Measure of All Things is the astonishing story of one of history's greatest scientific quests, a mission to measure the Earth and define the meter for all nations and for all time.

Yet when Ken Alder located the long-lost correspondence between the two men, along with their mission logbooks, he stumbled upon a 200-year-old secret. The meter, it turns out, is in error. One of the two astronomers, Pierre-François-André Méchain, made contradictory measurements from Barcelona and, in a panic, covered up the discrepancy. The guilty knowledge of his misdeed drove him to the brink of madness, and ultimately to his death. Only then did his partner, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre, discover the truth and face a fateful choice: what matters more, the truth or the appearance of the truth?

This is a story of two men, a secret, and a timeless human dilemma: is it permissible to perpetuate a small lie in the service of a larger truth? In The Measure of All Things Ken Alder describes a quest that succeeded even as it failed. It is a story for all people, for all time.

©2002 Ken Alder, All Rights Reserved; (P)2002 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved, AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Reading much like a historical thriller...[this] is a fascinating and well-written work." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (42 )
5 star
 (10)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
3.8 (8 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.3 (8 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Thomas Plano, TX, USA 04-25-03
    Thomas Plano, TX, USA 04-25-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    112
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Average"

    I've read a number of non-fiction narratives. This one is very average. The subject matter is difficult to get very excited about. It may be the abridgement that has detracted from the work of the author. Many times it is the side stories and facts that I find most fascinating. Those stories are not in this recording. It is like the difference between a newspaper account and being at an event. I picked up a copy of the book at work one day and started reading through it. All of the little stories I found enlightening were left out of the abridged version. This book does a good job of dealing with the primary storyline involving the measurement of the earth to determine the size of the meter. Beyond that, I found the narrative not very interesting.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Chicago, IL, United States 10-30-10
    Amazon Customer Chicago, IL, United States 10-30-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "There's an interesting story here, but..."

    ...this ain't it. Silly accents by the narrator (!!!) not withstanding, the story of science at the time of the French revolution, and the study and later transformation of the meter is really cool. But instead of trying to let that stand on its own, the author looks to draw a much greater sort of story that tries to wrestle with the meaning of error. It doesn't work. It doesn't work because the two stories are sort of footnotes to one another, and an exploration of the idea the book purports to would take much more than a disinterested chapter at the end. It's a shame, really, because there are so many neat-o components to this topic.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Ft. Wayne, IN, USA 10-07-05
    Matt Ft. Wayne, IN, USA 10-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not Worthy of a Book"

    I listened to this story and I couldn't understand why it was worthy of a book. It's an unremarkable story that might be of great interest to a scientest, but no one else. It's also slightly difficult to follow. The book description claims it was the author who discovered that the meter was incorrectly measured 200 years ago, but that's not the case. It was known among scientests long ago. As I read it I kept waiting for a turn in the story that would tell me why this was made into a book, but it never came.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.