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"A Thread Across the Ocean" with John

In an era of ever-increasing technology and globalization, it’s easy to take the worldwide instantaneous exchange of information for granted. But until less than one hundred fifty years ago, communicating across the divides inevitably required a lengthy voyage. All that changed, however, in 1866, when the first telegraphic transatlantic cable was laid between Ireland and Newfoundland—a monumental achievement that laid the groundwork for the telegraph, the telephone, and today’s cutting-edge communication technology. It is this accomplishment that John Steele Gordon captivatingly chronicles in “A Thread Across the Ocean.” Today, John joins Martha to discuss his book.

On one hand, the book is a meticulously researched historical account of a team’s ambitious undertaking to navigate the ocean’s floor. But on another, more humanistic level, it is the inspirational story of entrepreneur Cyrus Field and his vision to change the world. In the beginning stages, an enthusiastic Field is gathering wealthy yet somewhat skeptical investors to fund the costly project. Over the next twelve years, despite the numerous pitfalls he encounters, Field remains faithful to his intrepid vision—a commitment that pays off for him and his investors, with each and every one of them striking it rich.

John Steele Gordon

Walker & Company

435 Hudson Street

New York, NY 10014

John Steele Gordon

“A Thread Across the Ocean” (Walker & Co., 2002; $26)

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