Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time
By Clark Blaise
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375727528, 272pp.)
Publication Date: April 23, 2002
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
It is difficult today to imagine life before standard time was established in 1884. In the middle of the nineteenth century, for example, there were 144 official time zones in North America alone. The confusion that ensued, especially among the burgeoning railroad companies, was an hourly comedy of errors that ultimately threatened to impede progress. The creation of standard time, with its two dozen global time zones, is one of the great inventions of the Victorian Era, yet it has been largely taken for granted.
In Time Lord, Clark Blaise re-creates the life of Sanford Fleming, who struggled to convince the world to accept standard time. It’s a fascinating story of science, politics, nationalism, and the determined vision of one man who changed the world. Set in a time marked by substantial technological and cultural transformation, Time Lord is also an erudite exploration of art, literature, consciousness, and our changing relationship to time
Clark Blaise, former head of the Iowa Writer’s Program, lives in San Francisco.
“[A] complex examination where the yarn is put in richly detailed context and in clever, careful prose. . . . Blaise’s gifts for dry humor and well-chosen description are apparent.” —San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“[A] powerful example of what it takes to get countries and their ethnocentric leaders to agree on one idea, one standard, and a unified mission that places the stakes on the future..” —Amy Tan.
“Blaise, a graceful and engaging writer, leaves his narrative and wanders through thickets of art and culture.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A fascinating story... and the wonder is that it’s not better known.” —Adam Hochschild