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2 Beaverton Science Reference- General

This title in other editions

Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time

by

Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time Cover

ISBN13: 9781560256557
ISBN10: 1560256559
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Benjamin Franklin conceived of it. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle endorsed it. Winston Churchill campaigned for it. Kaiser Wilhelm first employed it. Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt went to war with it, and more recently the United States fought an energy crisis with it. For several months every year, for better or worse, daylight savings time affects vast numbers of people throughout the world. And from Ben Franklin's era to today, its story has been an intriguing and sometimes-bizarre amalgam of colorful personalities and serious technical issues, purported costs and perceived benefits, conflicts between interest groups and government policymakers. It impacts diverse and unexpected areas, including agricultural practices, street crime, the reporting of sports scores, traffic accidents, the inheritance rights of twins, and voter turnout. Illustrated with a popular look at science and history, Seize the Daylight presents an intriguing and surprisingly entertaining story of our attempt to regulate the sunlight hours.

Review:

"Why should the hours in a day be open to government interference? Who are politicians to dictate how clocks are set? In Preau's engrossing and highly readable history of Daylight Saving Time (DST), these questions are posed many times over by people dead-set against altering 'God's time,' forgetting (or unaware) that Standard Time was largely created by the railroad companies. Early-to-rise Benjamin Franklin wrote of the good that could come of tinkering with the clock hours, but Englishman William Willett was the first to work out the logistics in his pamphlet, The Waste of Daylight, and lobby for DST in 1907. He died before anything came of his proposal, and it took the economic shock of WWI to get it adopted-and then only temporarily in most countries. Prerau writes knowledgeably about DST, following its trail with a single-minded focus that allows him to untangle the 'clock chaos' it sometimes caused in places like Minneapolis and St. Paul, which in 1965 clashed over when to spring forward. Poems and editorial cartoons scattered throughout demonstrate just how fierce and widespread the debate raged. Prerau has compiled what seems to be every intriguing tidbit related to DST (and some that are less interesting, like the full texts of DST ordinances). Uncontroversial as it may seem to some, for others it was a matter of life and death, and Prerau handles the various arguments with admirable skill and evenhandedness, making this an excellent read for anyone curious about this peculiar slice of history." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Illustrated with a popular look at science and history, "Seize the Daylight" presents an intriguing and surprisingly entertaining story of mankind's attempt to regulate the sunlight hours.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Shoshana, August 8, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
I enjoyed this natural history of daylight saving time, which was indeed contentious. The basic argument against it seems to have been that God's time is superior to man's time. War and commerce have provided the most compelling arguments for man's time (that is, artificial on a fixed schedule rather than artificial on local schedules). Those of us who remember the U.S. energy crisis of the mid-70's probably also remember the extension of daylight saving time and how unnatural it seemed. I myself wrote a letter to President Carter about being a child standing in the dark waiting for my school bus. For some people living at the advent of daylight saving efforts, the experience seemed even more unnatural. However, we would find their notion of naturalness fairly bizarre, as illustrated by this excerpt:

"When the railroads in a country established a single time standard, several othger institutions quickly adopted railroad time for their own purposes. Even so, local time continued in extensive use as well. Railroad passengers still had to account for local time as well as railroad time as they moved between trains and towns. Some watchmakers began making watches with two dials, one for local time and one for railroad time, and the great Tom Tower Clock, in Oxford, England, was fitted with two minute hands. In an effort to be comprehensive, one British railroad timetable in 1840 informed passengers, "London time is kept at all stations on the railroad, which is 4 minutes earlier than Reading time, 5 1/2 minutes before Steventon time, 7 1/2 minutes before Cirencester time, 8 minutes before Chippenham time, and 14 minutes before Bridgewater time." (p. 36)

Now you know why so many early British detective novels hinged on train schedules.

Though the ostensive topic may seem arcane, the abstract topics are not: Artificial versus Divine, universal versus national, and the power of war and business to force changes in the infrastructure to serve their purposes.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781560256557
Subtitle:
The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time
Author:
Prerau, David
Publisher:
Basic Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
History - United States/20th Century
Subject:
Time
Subject:
Daylight saving.
Publication Date:
20050217
Binding:
HC
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
1400x1200

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Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Thunder's Mouth Press - English 9781560256557 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Why should the hours in a day be open to government interference? Who are politicians to dictate how clocks are set? In Preau's engrossing and highly readable history of Daylight Saving Time (DST), these questions are posed many times over by people dead-set against altering 'God's time,' forgetting (or unaware) that Standard Time was largely created by the railroad companies. Early-to-rise Benjamin Franklin wrote of the good that could come of tinkering with the clock hours, but Englishman William Willett was the first to work out the logistics in his pamphlet, The Waste of Daylight, and lobby for DST in 1907. He died before anything came of his proposal, and it took the economic shock of WWI to get it adopted-and then only temporarily in most countries. Prerau writes knowledgeably about DST, following its trail with a single-minded focus that allows him to untangle the 'clock chaos' it sometimes caused in places like Minneapolis and St. Paul, which in 1965 clashed over when to spring forward. Poems and editorial cartoons scattered throughout demonstrate just how fierce and widespread the debate raged. Prerau has compiled what seems to be every intriguing tidbit related to DST (and some that are less interesting, like the full texts of DST ordinances). Uncontroversial as it may seem to some, for others it was a matter of life and death, and Prerau handles the various arguments with admirable skill and evenhandedness, making this an excellent read for anyone curious about this peculiar slice of history." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Illustrated with a popular look at science and history, "Seize the Daylight" presents an intriguing and surprisingly entertaining story of mankind's attempt to regulate the sunlight hours.
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