Book #13: Longitude

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Longitude by Dava Sobel has the rather unwieldy subtitle "The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time". Determining longitude (that is, how far east or west you are) had been a navigation problem for sailors for millennia, and the quest for a solution reached a crescendo in the 18th Century. So I was all set for a rollicking scientific adventure, but the whole thing felt a little flat. The book was expanded from a magazine article and it still feels like it's just a sketch of the drama surrounding John Harrison and his perfection of the chronometer.