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South Pacific

South Pacific

The largest ocean on the planet, the Pacific is home to enticingly pristine islands scattered across the southern hemisphere. Island-hop alongside Paul Theroux as he kayaks through Melanesia and Polynesia in The Happy Isles of Oceania and take a sneak peek at the people and their landscapes in the beautiful coffee table book Pacific Journeys. For a good historical overview, we recommend Simon Winchester’s engaging Pacific, which tackles the modern history of this fascinating region.

Follow the links below to see recommended reading for each destination.

The Longitude Blog – South Pacific
Picture the Pacific Ocean. It is the largest body of water on Earth, containing more than 10,000 miles of uninterrupted sea and so big it could harbor all seven continents with room for more. How could one author capture the history of such a massive geographical feature in a single book? Prolific historian Simon Winchester admits that he cannot. Instead, he takes a page from Stefan Zweig whose works capture the seminal moments of his subjects in ten essays. Winchester applies this same approach to Pacific, a book whose subtitle (Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers) is as ambitious as the work itself.