416 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 19 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2693-2
Published: April 2016
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2694-9
Published: February 2016
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Awards & distinctions
2017 Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize, Massachusetts Historical Society
2016 John Lyman Book Award, North American Society for Oceanic History
Finalist, New England Society Book Awards, New England Society in the City of New York
Fleshing out the multiple careers of Nathaniel Bowditch, this book is at once a lively biography, a window into the birth of bureaucracy, and a portrait of patrician life, giving us a broader, more-nuanced understanding of how powerful capitalists operated during this era and how the emerging quantitative sciences shaped the modern experience.
About the Author
Tamara Plakins Thornton is professor of history at the State University of New York, Buffalo.
For more information about Tamara Plakins Thornton, visit the Author Page.
“This recommended biography rediscovers an eccentric who was key in improving several emerging industries. Readers of early American history will find a rich story that moves between New England high society and the founding of the natural sciences.”--Library Journal
“Shows Nathaniel Bowditch as [a] business innovator. . . . [and] is a portrait of Salem during its golden age.”--Salem News
“The work is insightful in the manner in which it connects Bowditch’s life and work to the rise of bureaucracy and capitalism in the US. . . . It deserves a presence in all libraries. Recommended.”--Choice
“A far more sophisticated account of a diverse career than has been available previously, offering a more plausible account of a man driven by number and showing how this played out in different spheres.”--Mariner’s Mirror
“Strongly recommended [for] anyone with an interest in the history of early America and the history of navigation and science in the early nineteenth century. . . . An excellent biography.”--NavList
“Sheds a striking light on the science and activities of the early United States, and therefore is an important contribution to our historical understanding.”--Nautical Numbers