Winner of the 2003 Dingle Prize awarded by the
British Society for the History of Science to the best general-audience
book published in the field of the history of science. From the
citation: "This is a marvellous book. The story is compelling
and wonderfully told. Alder doesn't compromise his scholarship in
spinning the tale."
Winner of the 2003 Watson Davis and Helen Miles
Davis Prize awarded by the History of Science Society to the best
general-audience book published in the field of the history of science.
From the citation: "Alder's new book is extraordinary geodetic
soap opera that deftly combines gripping narrative, a vivid sense
of place and local culture, and a very human exploration fo the
meaning, moral significance, and profound personal costs associated
with the Enlightenment's embrace of measurement, precision, and
Co-winner of the 2004 Donald Kagan Prize from
The Historical Society for the best book in European history published
in 2002-03. From the citation: "Alder's book is deeply empirical
in the way the work of historians can and should be. This is a brilliantly
- A New York Times "Notable Book"
- Cited as a "best book of 2002" by:
The Sunday Times (London)
The Sunday Telegraph
A Book Sense top 76 book pick for 2002
Second place, science-fact book of year, 2004, Buchjournal [Germany], December 2004.
Main Selection of Clio, Sweden's "History Book of the Month
To order book: