Book review of About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks by David Rooney

The guide will not be the truth is a historical past of civilization in 12 clocks. Every of the 12 chapters is organized round a broad theme — advantage, resistance, information, id, and so forth. — {that a} assortment of loosely associated examples of timekeeping gadgets is meant to light up. A lot of this materials is sort of attention-grabbing, however the guide’s frenetic tempo could make it arduous to catch greater than occasional glimpses of which means. Within the house of simply two pages, for example, Rooney leaps from a tower clock in 14th-century Italy to a cannon fired at midday every day by the British in Nineteenth-century Cape City to a growth of clockmakers in Australia within the Nineteenth century to clock towers in British India within the 1850s. When he does floor for a broader reflection, it’s banal: “Regardless of the circumstances of any particular person clock, energy politics was by no means distant.” Nearer evaluation of those particular person circumstances, and a smaller set of examples extra deeply thought-about, might need enabled extra authentic conclusions. | E book review of About Time: A Historical past of Civilization in Twelve Clocks by David Rooney


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