Prologue : The lonely sea and the sky -- Author's note : On carbon -- The great thermonuclear sea -- Mr. Ibuka's radio revolution -- The ecstasies of wave-riding -- A dire and dangerous irritation -- Farewell, all my friends and foes -- Echoes of distant thunder -- How goes the lucky country? -- The fires in the deep -- A fragile and uncertain sea -- Of masters and commanders -- Epilogue : The call of the running tide. The New York Times best-selling author of The Men Who United the States traces the geological history of the Pacific Ocean to assess its relationship with humans and indelible role in the modern world. A colorful and provocative exploration of the modern Pacific Ocean--what it has been, and the grip it holds on our future. Simon Winchester tackles this "oceanic behemoth of eye-watering complexity" by focusing on key moments since 1950 that speak to the greater trends and larger truths about the ocean's significance to us today. He leads us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands in between. He recounts the atomic tests on Bikini, which created a surreal landscape that must still be left vacant. He takes us to the launch of "Gidget" and her surfboards, which would forever change how the world's youth views a rising wave. Pacific also tells the story of the transistor radio and how it sparked the digital revolution, from Japan to Silicon Valley, altering the ocean's destiny. Winchester includes tales of alarming discoveries on the Great Barrier Reef and grand expeditions to mysterious vents on the ocean's floor. He examines the geopolitical shifts that shaped the ocean's vast land areas and addresses the environmental degradation and climate shifts that now threaten this majestic body of water. Along the way, he looks at the political turmoil in Australia, the relationship between the Koreas, and recent confrontations that engaged China and the United States. Calling upon Winchester's many journeys throughout the Pacific and its surrounding areas, his formidable historical understanding, and his singular talent for storytelling, Pacific is a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty and myth that has long captured the imagination.--Publisher information.