A Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable

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Harper Collins, Jul 1, 2003 - History - 272 pages

Today, in a world in which news flashes around the globe in an instant, time lags are inconceivable. In the mid-nineteenth century, communication between the United States and Europe -- the center of world affairs -- was only as quick as the fastest ship could cross the Atlantic, making the United States isolated and vulnerable.

But in 1866, the Old and New Worlds were united by the successful laying of a cable across the Atlantic. John Steele Gordon's book chronicles this extraordinary achievement -- the brainchild of American businessman Cyrus Field and one of the greatest engineering feats of the nineteenth century. An epic struggle, it required a decade of effort, numerous failed attempts, millions of dollars in capital, a near disaster at sea, the overcoming of seemingly insurmountable technological problems, and uncommon physical, financial, and intellectual courage. Bringing to life an overlooked story in the annals of technology, John Steele Gordon sheds fascinating new light on this American saga that literally changed the world.


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User Review  - setnahkt - www.librarything.com

A popular and easy-reading history of the transatlantic cable. As befits an author, John Steele Gordon, who writes business history, the central figure is Cyrus Field, the American who didn’t know ... Read full review

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User Review  - qebo - LibraryThing

Imagine a world in which news crosses the Atlantic Ocean several weeks after the fact; kings die, wars begin, and nobody knows. The electrical telegraph, invented in the 1830s, began to change this ... Read full review


Newfoundland 28
Raising More Capital 61
And Lay the Adantic Cable in a Heap 100
The Great Eastern Looms
EpilogueThere Were Two Worlds LetThere BeOne 209
Bibliography 225

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About the author (2003)

John Steele Gordon is a columnist for American Heritage and the author of A Thread Across the Ocean, The Great Game, Hamilton's Blessing, and The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street. His writing has appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in North Salem, New York.

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