Descent Cover


The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss

By Bradford Matsen

Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400075010, 286pp.

Publication Date: June 6, 2006

In "Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss, " Brad Matsen brings to vivid life the famous deep-sea expeditions of Otis Barton and William Beebe. Beebe was a very well-connected and internationally acclaimed naturalist, with the power to generate media attention. Barton was an engineer and heir to a considerable fortune, who had long dreamed of making his mark on the world as an adventurer. Together, Beebe and Barton would achieve what no one had done before--direct observation of life in the blackness of the abyss. Here, against the back drop of the depression, is their riveting tale.

About the Author
Bradford Matsen is the author of Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss as well as many other books abou the sea and its inhabitants. He was a creative producer for the television series The Shape of Life, and his articles have appeared in Mother Jones, Audubon, and Nature, among other publications. He divides his time between Seattle and New York City.
John Chatterton and Richie Kohler contributed to the research of Titanic's Last Secrets, as they did for Robert Kurson's Shadow Divers, the 2005 Book Sense Nonfiction Book of the Year.

Praise For Descent

“The sensational exploits of Beebe and Barton and the bathysphere kept Americans on the edges of their seats in the 1930s, and, as Brad Matsen proves in Descent, they can still deliver a thrill.” —The New York Times

“Captivating. . . . A worthy tribute to [Barton and Beebe’s] remarkable achievement.” —Nature

“[Matsen is a] master storyteller. . . . You’ll be well rewarded in reading this work.” —Decatur Daily