WorldCat Identities

Alder, Ken

Overview
Works: 28 works in 129 publications in 10 languages and 4,594 library holdings
Genres: History  Military history  Biography  Fiction 
Roles: Author
Classifications: QB291, 526.1
Publication Timeline
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Most widely held works by Ken Alder
The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world by Ken Alder( Book )

32 editions published between 2001 and 2014 in English and held by 1,974 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In June 1792, the erudite and cosmopolitan Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre and the cautious and scrupulous Pierre-Francois-Andre Mechain set out from Paris -- one north to Dunkirk, the other south to Barcelona to calculate the length of the meter. In the face of death threats from village revolutionary councils, superstitious peasants, and civil war, they had only their wits and their letters to each other for support. Their findings would be used to create what we now know as the metric system. Despite their painstaking and Herculean efforts, Mechain made a mistake in his calculations that he covered up. The guilty knowledge of his error drove him to the brink of madness, and in the end, he died in an attempt to correct himself. Only then was his mistake discovered. Delambre decided to seal all evidence of the error in a vault at the Paris Observatory. Two hundred year later, historian Ken Alder discovered the truth. With scintillating prose and wry wit, Alder uses these previously overlooked letters, diaries, and journals to bring to life a remarkable time when everything was open to question and the light of reason made every dream seem possible
The lie detectors : the history of an American obsession by Ken Alder( Book )

9 editions published between 2007 and 2009 in English and held by 904 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A history of the lie detector machine in America documents its early twentieth-century notoriety, role in promoting its creators' mutual enmity and failed careers, and function as an instrument of government secrecy, market research, and employment discrimination
Engineering the Revolution : arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763-1815 by Ken Alder( Book )

34 editions published between 1997 and 2014 in English and Undetermined and held by 566 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The French Revolution and Industrial Revolution together inaugurated the modern era. But recent historical "revisionists" have divorced eighteenth-century material conditions from concurrent political struggles. This book's anti-teleological approach repudiates technological determinism to document the forging of a new relationship between technology and politics in Revolutionary France. It does so through the history of a particular artifact - the gun. Expanding the "political" to include conflict over material objects, Ken Alder rethinks the nature of engineering rationality, the origins of mass production, and our interpretation of the French Revolution
The measure of the world by Ken Alder( Book )

2 editions published between 2003 and 2004 in English and held by 184 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The white bus by Ken Alder( Book )

3 editions published in 1987 in English and held by 178 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Ira deals with his father's disapproval and prejudice on both sides of the color line when he rejects private school to attend his black friend's high school
Mesurer le monde : 1792-1799 : l'incroyable histoire de l'invention du mètre by Ken Alder( Book )

5 editions published between 2005 and 2015 in French and held by 146 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

En 1792, deux astronomes Jean-Baptiste Joseph Delambre et Pierre François André Méchain sont chargés de définir le mètre en suivant l'arc de méridien qui va de Dunkerque à Barcelone en passant par Paris, pour mettre fin à la multitude des mesures existantes. En se fondant sur des documents d'époque, l'auteur relate à la façon d'une enquête historique cette aventure scientifique qui dura sept ans
The measure of all things : [the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world] by Ken Alder( Book )

4 editions published between 2003 and 2005 in 3 languages and held by 56 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The story of the creation of the metric system in 1792 traces the endeavors of Delambre and Méchain, the backlash of superstitious contemporaries, and the mistake that drove Méchain to the brink of madness
The measure of all things : [the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world] by Ken Alder( Recording )

6 editions published between 2002 and 2011 in English and held by 55 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Amidst the chaos of the French Revolution, two intrepid astronomers set out in opposite directions from Paris to measure the world, one voyaging north to Dunkirk, the other south to Barcelona. Their findings would help define the meter as one ten-millionth of the distance between the pole and the equator, a standard that has since swept the planet. [This book] is the ... story of [this] scientific quest, a mission to measure the Earth and define the meter for all nations and for all times. Yet when [the author] located the long-lost correspondence between the two men, along with their mission logbooks, he stumbled upon a two-hundred-year-old secret ... The meter, it turns out, is in error. One of the two astronomers, Pierre-Francois-Andre Mechain, made contradictory measurements from Barcelona and, in a panic, covered up the discrepancy. The guilty knowledge of his misdeed drove him to the brink of madness, and ultimately to his death. Only then - after the meter had already been publicly announced - did his partner, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre, discover the truth and face a fateful choice: what matters more, the truth or the appearance of the truth? ... The measurements brought back by Delambre and Mechain not only made science into a global enterprise and made possible our global economy, but also revolutionized our understanding of error. Where Mechain conceived of error as a personal failure, his successors learned to tame it. This, then is a story of two men, a secret, and a timeless human dilemma: is it permissible to perpetuate a small lie in the service of a larger truth? -Dust jacket
Das Mass der Welt : die Suche nach dem Urmeter by Ken Alder( Book )

4 editions published between 2003 and 2006 in German and held by 49 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

La medida de todas las cosas : la odisea de siete años y el error oculto que transformaron el mundo by Ken Alder( Book )

5 editions published between 2003 and 2004 in Spanish and held by 36 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Gong chi de dan sheng by Ken Alder( Book )

2 editions published in 2009 in Chinese and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

La misura di tutte le cose : l'avventurosa storia dell'invenzione del sistema metrico decimale by Ken Alder( Book )

3 editions published in 2002 in Italian and held by 14 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Uso hakkenki yo eiennare : Seigi no kikai ni toritsukareta hitobito by Ken Alder( Book )

2 editions published in 2008 in Japanese and held by 5 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Banbutsu no shakudo o motomete : Mētoruhō o sadameta shigosen daikeisoku( Book )

2 editions published in 2006 in Japanese and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Världens mått : berättelsen om hur metersystemet förändrade världen by Ken Alder( Book )

1 edition published in 2003 in Swedish and held by 3 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Why France? : American historians reflect on an enduring fascination( Book )

1 edition published in 2007 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Laura Lee Downs and Stéphane Gerson commissioned a diverse array of historians to write autobiographical essays in which they explore their intellectual, political, and personal engagements with France and its past
Las mentiras del detector de mentiras by Ken Alder( )

2 editions published in 2001 in Spanish and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Innovation and amnesia : engineering rationality and the fate of interchangeable parts manufacturing in France by Ken Alder( )

1 edition published in 1997 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Mesurer le monde 1792-1799 : l'incroyable histoire de l'invention du mètre by Ken Alder( Book )

2 editions published in 2006 in French and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Världens mått berättelsen om hur metersystemet förändrade världen by Ken Alder( Recording )

1 edition published in 2004 in Swedish and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

 
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The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world
Alternative Names
애들러, 켄

オールダー, ケン

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The lie detectors : the history of an American obsessionEngineering the Revolution : arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763-1815The measure of all things : [the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world]Why France? : American historians reflect on an enduring fascination