Moon: A Brief History

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Yale University Press, Nov 18, 2010 - History - 288 pages
Using werewolves and Wernher von Braun, Stonehenge and the sex lives of sea corals, aboriginal myths, and an Anglican bishop in this new book, the author weaves variegated information into a glimpse of Earth's closest celestial neighbor, whose mere presence inspires us to wonder what might be out there. Going beyond the discoveries of contemporary science, he presents a cultural assessment of our complex relationship with Earth's lifeless, rocky satellite. As well as offering an engaging perspective on such age old questions as "What would Earth be like without the moon?" he surveys the moon's mythical and religious significance and provokes existential soul searching through a lunar lens, inquiring, "Forty years ago, the first man put his footprint on the moon. Will we continue to use it as the screen onto which we cast our hopes and fears?" Drawing on materials from different cultures and epochs, he walks readers down a moonlit path illuminated by more than seventy-five vintage photographs and illustrations. From scientific discussions of the moon's origins and its chronobiological effects on the mating and feeding habits of animals to an illuminating interpretation of Bishop Francis Godwin's 1638 novel The Man in the Moone, his interdisciplinary explorations recast a familiar object in an original light.

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User Review  - Michael.Rimmer - LibraryThing

This is an OK book - a quick read and some nice illustrations. As for the text, the author introduces themes and then doesn't really develop them (though, to be fair, the subtitle is A Brief History ... Read full review


CHAPTER ONE Gazing at the Moon
CHAPTER TWO Moon of the Mind
CHAPTER THREE Charting the Moonscape
CHAPTER FOUR Pale Sun of the Night
CHAPTER FIVE Encounters of a Lunar Kind
CHAPTER SIX Lunar Passion in Paris
CHAPTER SEVEN Accounts of Genesis
CHAPTER TEN Esoteric Practices
CHAPTER ELEVEN Spurious Correspondences
CHAPTER TWELVE Visions of the Moon
CHAPTER THIRTEEN Before and After Apollo
EpilogueMoon Melancholia
Bibliographic Essay

CHAPTER EIGHT A Riddled Surface
CHAPTER NINE Lunar Choreography

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