Books

Sextant

SextantSailing aficionado Barrie focuses on the instantly recognizable but largely inscrutable navigational gadget and its role in globe-altering sea voyages...SextantNonfictionSailing aficionado Barrie focuses on the instantly recognizable but largely inscrutable navigational gadget and its role in globe-altering sea voyages...2014-05-16William Morrow
SEXTANT David Barrie

SEXTANT David Barrie

A-

Sextant

Genre: Nonfiction; Author: David Barrie; Status: In Season; Publisher: William Morrow

Sailing aficionado Barrie focuses on the instantly recognizable but largely inscrutable navigational gadget and its role in globe-altering sea voyages over the past three centuries. The Oxford-educated author interweaves his own ripping account of an Atlantic crossing when he was 19 with historical stories of seamen such as James Cook and Beagle captain Robert FitzRoy — with his polite prose favoring the mariners’ acumen over their hot-tempered reputations. (The Bounty’s oft-bad-mouthed Captain Bligh gets his propers for surviving 4,000 miles of open ocean without charts.) But beneath the book’s calm surface churns a melancholic message about how the comfort of technology — symbolized by the sextant’s almighty antagonist, GPS — has turned our gaze away from the stars. A-

Originally posted May 16 2014 — 12:00 AM EDT

More from Our Partners