Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea

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Macmillan, 2007 - Earth - 436 pages

Contrary to popular belief, fostered in countless school classrooms the world over, Christopher Columbus did not discover that the world was round. The idea of the world as a sphere had been widely accepted in scientific, philosophical and even religious circles from as early as the fourth century bc. Bizarrely, it was not until the supposedly more rational nineteenth century that the notion that the world might actually be flat really took hold. Even more bizarrely, it persists to this day, despite Apollo missions and widely publicized pictures of the decidedly spherical earth from space.

Based on a range of original sources, Garwood’s history of flat-earth beliefs – from the Babylonians to the present day – raises issues central to the history and philosophy of science, its relationship with religion and the making of human knowledge about the natural world. Flat Earth is the first definitive study of one of history’s most notorious and persistent ideas, and evokes all the intellectual, philosophical and spiritual turmoil of the modern age.

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User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

I saw this book in a remainders bin and grabbed it, looking forward to a humorous review of eccentrics and their belief in a flat earth. This book didn't really live up to the self-induced hype ... Read full review

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User Review  - Darrol - LibraryThing

This is a very important book of intellectual history. It should be read along with James Barr's Fundamentalism and the works of Richard Rorty. This book clearly illustrates that the Protestant sola ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue The Columbus Blunder
1
Four Trials and Tribulations
118
Six Flatearth Utopia
188
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Dr. Christine Garwood is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University, and former Research Fellow on the Alfred Russel Wallace Project. Flat Earth is her first book.

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