Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers

eBook - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The New York Times best-selling author of The Men Who United the States traces the geological history of the Pacific Ocean to assess its relationship with humans and indelible role in the modern world.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780008162481
Characteristics: 1 online resource.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
IndyPL_SteveB Nov 16, 2018

For a broad perspective on the world, sometimes we need a writer who is a combination of world traveler, reporter, historian, storyteller, and geologist. Simon Winchester is one of the great non-fiction writers. *Pacific* focuses on the past 70 years on the largest ocean on Earth, with an amazing variety of cultures, languages, and people surrounding it and living in the middle of it. Winchester knew even with that limitation, he could write thousands of pages; but he finally settled on 10 basic subjects and events that, while seemingly unrelated, merge together to make you think about this part of the world in new ways.

Initially Winchester points out the irony that “The Far East” is on the west side of the Pacific and what we call “The West” is on the east side. He uses that as a jumping off point to show us that most of our perspectives as readers of English are from a single point of view – Western Europe. Learning to see the world through the points of view of East Asians and the Oceanic peoples can open our eyes to the unexpected. Winchester covers subjects as different as atomic bomb testing, Sony radios, surfing, cyclones, and floating plastic, all in fascinating fashion.

Jan 05, 2017


Nov 14, 2016

This comes from a huge fan of Winchester's other work, but Pacific was a bit of a disappointment. He seems to have bitten off more than he can comfortably chew. His formal solution is to tell ten shorter stories as emblems of larger issues in the history of this enormous region, but the choice does not play as well to his narrative strengths. Some chapters are completely skippable, and others leave the reader wanting a little more detail.

ArapahoeAnna Nov 06, 2016

Each chapter is a separate story of the Pacific, history, civilization, science, geography, and travel. You are sure to learn some new things about the Pacific Ocean, earth, climate, and humanity. The pictures are very interesting be sure to look at them if you listen to audio book which is well narrated by the author.

Sep 30, 2016

Mellifluous writing details a broad topic in the Pacific. Various historical stories revolving around the Pacific are told in this book with a look to the future potential conflict between China and the US. Well worth reading.

Aug 08, 2016

Pacific. --- by. --- Simon Winchester.
Winchesters books are patiently awaited and then keenly devoured. With his wide ranging interests and fields of attention he has written a collection of greatly varied books ranging from his interesting tome of the birth of Oxford English Dictionary to his more Geographic efforts such as "Atlantic" and now, the even more ambitious "Pacific".
This time Winchester has chosen as object of interest what is arguably the largest feature on the planet Earth, the Pacific Ocean. And audacious the topic may be, Winchester is, non the less, able to pull off this self-imposed task with his usual style and competence
Winchester's style is brisk and easily read, although there were a couple of occasions where I had to seek refuge in the OED (irony) in order to decipher the meaning. But then, that's how vocabulary is expanded.
This humble, grateful reader says to Mr Winchester: bravo! A job well done. We expected no less from you.

Nov 16, 2015

long excerpt in salon


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top