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Download Riddle of the Compass Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Riddle of the Compass, by Amir D. Aczel Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (165 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Amir D. Aczel Narrator: Henry Leyva Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The story of the compass is shrouded in mystery and myth, yet most will agree it begins around the time of the birth of Christ in ancient China. A mysterious lodestone whose powers affected metal was known to the Chinese emperor. When this piece of metal was suspended in water, it always pointed north. This unexplainable occurrence led to the stone's use in feng shui, the Chinese art of finding the right location. However, it was the Italians, more than a thousand years later, who discovered the ultimate destiny of the lodestone and unleashed its formidable powers. In Amalfi sometime in the twelfth century, the compass was born, crowning the Italians as the new rulers of the seas and heralding the onset of the modern world. Retracing the roots of the compass and sharing the fascinating story of navigation through the ages, The Riddle of the Compass is Aczel at his most entertaining and insightful. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Aczel examines the myths, legends, and facts behind the dispute and provides a logical, although not indisputable, conclusion on which nation can claim the compass as its own. He also provides a layman’s overview of the development of navigation from the earliest days to the fifteenth century. Although the author is primarily known for his scientific books, Riddle of the Compass contains little or no jargon and a minimum of scientific terminology. A worthwhile and interesting addition.”

    School Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by AC | 2/7/2014

    " Another excellent history of science/math and the world that brought it about and was changed by it. As is often the case, some of his diversions, while perhaps an attempt to paint a fuller historical picture, often end up contributing little more than making the book longer than it needs to be. Still, Aczel's research and presentation are a genuinely rewarding and should not be missed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Katie | 12/29/2013

    " quick read - more like a thesis than anything else - but contained some interesting tidbits... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rab9975 | 12/26/2013

    " A brief history of the unknown origins of one the most important tools in human history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by John | 12/13/2013

    " Who knew that the story of a tool could be so compelling? "

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