Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, Dec 17, 2010 - Science - 436 pages
10 Reviews

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. 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.

'Highly entertaining and often hilarious ... an enjoyable romp through the dottier history of scientific and religious eccentricity’ Sunday Times

‘This entertaining history of the Flat Earth movement is full of crazy characters and fascinating details’ Daily Telegraph

‘Wonderful ... an intriguing chronicle of 150 years of self- delusion' Financial Times

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LibraryThing Review

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

Review: Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea

User Review  - Zbhall - Goodreads

Caught between pop-history fun and the nitty-gritty facts. Too dull for the former and missing too big of gaps for the latter (too much focus on a few individuals). Meh. Not really worth the time. Read full review

About the author (2010)

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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