- Editie: Kindle-editie
- Bestandsgrootte: 4544 KB
- Printlengte: 280 pagina's
- Uitgever: University of Chicago Press (15 december 2010)
- Verkocht door: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Taal: Engels
- ASIN: B004L62HQ4
- Tekst-naar-spraak: Ingeschakeld
- Word Wise: Ingeschakeld
- Klantenrecensies: 6 klantbeoordelingen
Geen Kindle-apparaat vereist. Download een van de gratis Kindle-apps om Kindle-boeken te lezen op je smartphone, tablet en computer.
Als je de gratis app wilt ontvangen, moet je je mobiele telefoonnummer invoeren.
|Catalogusprijs digitale editie:||EUR 56,90|
Bespaar EUR 20,49 (36%)
Geographies of Mars: Seeing and Knowing the Red Planet (English Edition) Kindle-editie
|Nieuw vanaf||Tweedehands vanaf|
"Geographies of Mars is an imaginatively conceived, expertly researched, and bountifully illustrated study of popular and scientific understandings of Mars within the context of the Age of Exploration in the nineteenth century and turn of the twentieth. Like Symmes with his theory of the Hollow Earth, many held out the hope that Mars provided a hospitable environment for both social and physical engineering. Maria Lane takes readers on a dazzlingly comprehensive tour of cultures of Mars science, whose ideas were shaped by cartographic practices of the day, American and European geopolitics, and competition for scientific credibility. The new historical geography could not be in better hands; this is that rare academic book you'll be inspired to read cover to cover."--Karen M. Morin, Bucknell University "Barnes and Noble Review"
"An exceptionally well-written and cleverly crafted exposition of what both speculative and mainstream science had to say in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries about the nature of Mars and the beings that might inhabit it. . . . The book is a must-read for any historian or scientist who cares about what, how, and why, and to what extent, cultural forces shape both scientific knowledge and public reaction to it."--David H. DeVorkin, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution "American Scientist"
"Illuminating. . . . [Geographies of Mars] paint[s] a vivid picture of Mars observation and the ways it has influenced and been influenced by contemporary culture."--Andrew H. Knoll "Times Literary Supplement"
"Lane has done her homework, immersing herself in the primary and secondary literature; and yes, she has definitely made a major contribution to the discussion. . . . I urge historians of astronomy and of Victorian science to read Geographies of Mars and to consider its conclusions carefully."--Marc Rothenberg "Isis"
"Lane's skillful exploration of how astronomy and geography intersected in the debates over the existence of life on Mars at the end of the nineteenth century, and beyond, makes for compelling reading. Readers will enjoy her persuasive discussions of the role of changing cartographical conventions, the construction of high-altitude sites, and the adoption of the heroic explorer narrative in providing legitimacy for pluralism. Also of note are her fresh interpretations of controversies over Martian landscapes and life forms in the context of environmental and imperial concerns. This book will appeal to historians of science, historians of geography, Victorianists, and historians of nineteenth-century American history."--Bernard Lightman, York University "Barnes and Noble Review"
"Maria Lane's arresting volume Geographies of Mars dramatically extends the reach of geography's domain, both empirically--by sweeping the red planet into the orbit of geographical analysis--and conceptually--by disclosing the profound connections betweenthe ways terrestrial and Martian landscapes have been understood. In showing the imperial reach of early twentieth-century geographical sensibility beyond the earth itself and into the heavens, Lane has at once enlarged geography's horizons and exposed just how intimate relations really are between the 'near' and the 'far.' In all, a wonderfully innovative piece of intellectual cartography."--David N. Livingstone, Queen's University Belfast "Barnes and Noble Review"
"We no longer dream about Martians, but the lesson of Geographies of Mars is still timely: science may be the search for truth, but the way we think and talk about science is a product of our hopes, fears, and dreams."--Adam Kirsch "Barnes and Noble Review" --Deze tekst verwijst naar de hardcover editie.
Over de auteur
K. Maria D. Lane is assistant professor of geography at the University of New Mexico.--Deze tekst verwijst naar de hardcover editie.
Nog geen klantenrecensies
|5 sterren (0%)||0%|
|4 sterren (0%)||0%|
|3 sterren (0%)||0%|
|2 sterren (0%)||0%|
|1 ster (0%)||0%|
Nuttigste klantenrecensies op Amazon.com
Lane looks at these years and finds there was a "functionally dominant (if not universal) understanding of Martian geography as arid, inhabited, and irrigated." The best way of describing what was being seen by telescope on Mars was to make analogies with our own planet, and this was done in many ways, comparing Martian shorelines and seas to those on Earth. Before cameras could be attached to telescopes, astronomers sketched what they saw. When they started putting the sketches onto Mercator projections, though (this was first done in 1869), the maps conveyed scientific accuracy; they looked like objective representations of reality, and so they were taken as such. The maps also got labeled with bays, oceans, and continents, and the features were named. Percival Lowell throughout his career put out new maps, some with new canals on them; the Martians were always busy. The Martians were struggling to stay alive on a dying planet, he showed; not only was this a tragic vision with which people sympathized, but Lane shows that it was consistent with thinking about regions of the Earth and with science connected with empire and colonial administration. Lowell took to the popular press and to the podium to promulgate his maps and his explanations. His views were enormously popular, but were embarrassing for most professional astronomers. Lane's chapters regarding the placement of telescopes during the time are especially interesting. It was good to get a big telescope, away from the city and up into the thin air for better views. The astronomers, and not just Lowell, emphasized how distant and inaccessible their telescopes were, as if there were a particular scientific manliness in their work at such remove. Not only did the mountains serve as sites for the telescopes, but also as analogies for the Martian surface. Mountains were cold and had thin air, but they still had living things; why should not comparable areas of Mars?
Lane's book is surprising and often funny, as befits a recounting of this sort of wrongheadedness. It is, however, a serious account, well-researched, and well-illustrated, about how well-meaning people got Martian geography wrong. It explains how difficult it was for serious astronomers to correct the impression given by popularizers who had an attractive if erroneous picture of Mars (and of how science was done). As strange as the real Martian landscapes have turned out to be, to see them rightly we had to overcome the many sorts of geographic blinkers Lane has recounted.
I still remember coming across books with maps of the fabled canals of Mars. At one time it was taken for granted that the canals existed, even though many astronomers stated that they had NEVER seen canals in the hours they spent staring at Mars. Yet there was a scientific "consensus" that the canals existed and most people believed they did... could this be an analogy for global warming?
The book seems worth it to me just to see some of these old maps. It would have been even better with color illustrations.
American astronomer Percival Lowell became interested in Mars during the latter part of the nineteenth century, and built what became the Lowell Observatory near Flagstaff, Arizona, to study the red planet. His research advanced the argument that Mars had once been a watery planet and that the topographical features known as canals had been built by intelligent beings. Over the course of the first forty years of the twentieth century others used Lowell's observations of Mars as a foundation for their arguments. The idea of intelligent life on Mars stayed in the popular imagination for a long time, and it was only with the scientific data returned from probes to the planet since the beginning of the space age that this began to change.
Begun as a dissertation written at the University of Chicago, "Geographies of Mars: Seeing and Knowing the Red Planet" offers a fascinating analysis of the phenomenon of canals on Mars and the personality of Lowell and his detractors in arguing about these astronomical observations. K. Maria D. Lane, now on the faculty of the University of New Mexico, provides six succinct chapters that explore the Percival Lowell arguments about an inhabited Mars and his speculations on the nature of its society. Lane comments that in part because of the efforts of astronomers like Lowell the people living between about 1880 and 1910 had a "functionally dominant (if not universal) understanding of Martian geography as arid, inhabited, and irrigated" (p. 13). In Lane's estimation this perception came because of the emphasis on geographical knowledge, especially cartography, in shape public perceptions in the United States.
The author makes several important points about this process. First, she lays out a very compelling case for a de-emphasis of the "canali" to "canal" misinterpretation that has dominated explanations of how the story of artificial canals perceived on the Martian surface might have originated. Instead, she finds that the authority of both Schiaparelli's and Lowell's maps proved the deciding point. Both emphasized long straight, dark lines on the planet's surface that seemed to delineate some type of artificiality. Even without the translation issue, the power of the image burned the idea of canals into viewers' brains. Lowell's persistent beating of the drum for intelligent beings having built those canals proved decisive in shaping ideas about life on the red planet over the decades. The scientific community squared off over this debate, with most of the academic astronomers questioning Lowell's conclusions, especially when their own observations did not match his own for clarity in depicting the lines on the planet's surface that Lowell said were canals. This conclusion is a very important contribution of Geographies of Mars to the literature about Mars in the American imagination.
Some of Lane's other findings are also significant. For example, she includes a chapter on observatories as places remote, unforgiving, and hard to reach. With the move in the latter half of the nineteenth century of astronomers founding observatories in tops of mountains, with Yerkes, Lowell, and Lick observatories all in wilderness settings in high places on the Earth, the sense of adventure and hardship conjured in the minds of Americans raised the status of those who worked in those places. In essence, these activities were hard and, therefore, those who engaged in them were dedicated scientific explorers and their conclusions were to be embraced. All of this played into a developing cult of expertise that the astronomers enjoyed. Such claims as made by Lowell about Mars, therefore, enjoyed ready acceptance in part because of this development. As Lane concluded, "In the era of Mars debates and the popular canal sensation, however, a metropolitan-versus-mountain dichotomy provided the critical means of differentiating among the credibility of observatories, astronomers, and hypotheses. The higher, the more remote, the more rugged, and the more sublime, the better" (p. 95).
Likewise, the astronomer as hero, not unlike the intrepid explorers of the poles during the same era, lent a certain credibility to their hypotheses not possible previously. Lowell's mountaintop sitting at his observatory above Flagstaff, and the heroic nature of his observations, lent credence to his arguments about the possibility of canals and therefore sophisticated life on the red planet. And he played it for all it was worth.
Finally, Lane offers interesting and quite appropriate findings concerning the speculations about the life on Mars that Lowell offered. Lowell insisted that Mars was a planet on the verge of extinction because of the scarcity of water. He rationalized that the only way it could hold on was through the creation of a hydraulic society in which the best minds of that society ran everything for the benefit of all. The organization and structure of every institution associated with Mars, Lowell reasoned, reflected this need to control the environment. In such a situation, he continued, society's greatest minds conspired to create a hydraulic civilization under their suzerainty. In order to flourish on Mars they had to create a society that was dependent upon large-scale waterworks--productive (for irrigation) and protective (for flood control). This not only made the planet habitable, it brought urbanization and wealth there as well. There were other examples of this in world history and Lowell applied the example of ancient Egypt as the first of this type of civilization.
These ideas reflected Lowell's concepts of Progressivism and government by the best and the brightest to ensure the success of all. Lane makes the case that this was very much a perspective reflective of European colonialism. The British of India undertook massive public works projects with the purpose of transforming the subcontinent from what they considered the backward civilization that they encountered when they first arrived there. Lowell's Mars was essentially a test case for the envisioned "benign American empire [that] would be based on rational-scientific decision-making entrusted to a technocratic elite" (p. 177). At sum, his analysis of civilization on Mars served as a brief for American colonial activities worldwide.
"Geographies of Mars" is an excellent, quite original take on the Martian canals question. It deserves a place on the shelves of all historians and social scientists interested in the place of Mars in the American imagination.