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The Eternal Darkness: A Personal History of Deep-Sea Exploration Hardcover – 5 Mar 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; First Printing edition (5 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691027404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691027401
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.8 x 31.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

As a young man, at a time when most of his peers were turning their eyes to deep space, Robert Ballard came under the spell both of scientific inquiry and of the ocean. After taking a doctorate in marine geology and geophysics, he spent three decades at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, through which he participated in more than a hundred deep-sea expeditions. Writing from the point of view of "a privileged witness to a fascinating burst of exploration", Ballard recounts many of those explorations, including the first up-close studies of the great mid-ocean ridge of volcanic mountains that circles the globe, full of seafloor vents and "black smokers". Along the way Ballard provides a brief history of modern oceanography, looking at the contributions of such scientists as Charles William Beebe and Otis Barton, whose legendary dives in the early 1930s paved the way for much subsequent research. Ballard's narrative takes on particular vigour when he describes, in fascinating detail, his team's search for the wreckage of the Titanic--a search that relied on intelligent guesswork as much as on hard evidence. The methods he and his colleagues used--employing, among other things, sophisticated remote-control craft--to find the unfortunate vessel ushered in a new era of deep-ocean research, a contribution in which Ballard takes justified pride. --Gregory McNamee


Recipient of the Commonwealth Award for Science and Invention, Sigma Xi

Honorable Mention for the 2000 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Geography and Earth Sciences, Association of American Publishers

"The Eternal Darkness is a straightforward look at a complicated business that shows again not just that exploration is worth doing but that even at home here on earth it is far from over. . . . [It] is not really a book about the past. It's a promise that the "E" word remains the deepest adventure of them all."--Michael Parfit, New York Times Book Review

"Drawing from the expertise gained during his more than 100 trips into the abyss, Ballard highlights historical and scientific events that he and Hively expertly weave into a series of scintillating tales."--Loretta DiPietro, Scientific American

"Dr. Ballard is a passionate advocate of deep-sea exploration, pointing out that all such expeditions so far undertaken have probably surveyed less than one percent of the sea floor. . . . One can hardly disagree with Dr. Ballard's proposal that we should expand that one percent."--The Atlantic Monthly

"The man who found the Titanic, discovered black smokers on the sea floor, and first ventured into the mid-Atlantic ridge tells the story of deep-sea exploration. . . . Scores of photographs highlight the steadily absorbing text; together, words and pictures present a vital and authoritative general history of humanity's adventures deep beneath the waves."-- Publishers Weekly

"The Eternal Darkness is an excellent book . . . It is authoritative and well written, and . . . it is impossible to put down."--Richard Shelton, Times Literary Supplement

"Titanic discoverer Ballard . . . handily summarizes a technology unfamiliar to many readers. Ballard has published popular books about his recovery of other famous sunken ships besides the movie's namesake, which adds cachet to this more scholarly work."--Booklist

"Doing science is exciting! This is the main message of Ballard's fascinating combination memoir and history of deep ocean science."--Library Journal

"The Eternal Darkness is a highly readable book. . . . I am always on the lookout for books that will motivate and enthuse potential and present students. The Eternal Darkness will become a firm favourite on that list, as Ballard shows what can be achieved by hard work, determination and unbounded enthusiasm."--Paul Tyler, New Scientist

"A remarkable story of science and adventure, as fascinating as the exploration of space and the landing on the moon."--American Way (Airline Magazine)

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28 April 2017
Format: Paperback
11 January 2007
Format: Paperback
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsScience and exploration made personal
23 December 2014 - Published on
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5.0 out of 5 starsBuy it and read it if you have ever wondered what's under the surf!
13 January 2018 - Published on
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Tony liu
5.0 out of 5 starsA very good read, you won't be able to put it ...
25 April 2018 - Published on
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jacob Richardson
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Book
24 March 2016 - Published on
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5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
25 September 2014 - Published on
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