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Tracks in the Sea: Matthew Fontaine Maury and the Mapping of the Oceans.

CHESTER G. HEARN

In the early 1800s, seafaring was a risky proposition, Chronometers were available to only a few ships, and sailors lacked a map of the oceans' surface currents and winds. Matthew Fontaine Maury made sailing safer and far more efficient. He and his team worked steadily from 1842 to 1861 to identify the "highways of the sea." This biography weaves the compelling story of how Maury took a bunch of neglected logbooks and turned them into a revolutionary approach to navigation. The story begins at Maury's modest roots on a Virginia farm. He nevertheless accomplished a brilliant naval career that led him through the Civil War--on the side of the Confederacy--and finally to become the first superintendent of the U,S. Naval Observatory. McGraw, 2002, 278 p., b&w photos/illus., hardcover, $24.95.

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Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 14, 2002
Words:204
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