WorldCat Identities

Alder, Ken

Overview
Works: 21 works in 116 publications in 11 languages and 4,384 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 )
50 editions published between 2001 and 2014 in 8 languages and held by 2,316 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 )
8 editions published between 2007 and 2014 in English and held by 928 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 )
29 editions published between 1997 and 2014 in English and held by 659 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 white bus by Ken Alder( Book )
3 editions published in 1987 in English and held by 192 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
The measure of the world by Ken Alder( Book )
3 editions published between 2003 and 2004 in English and held by 190 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
The measure of all things [the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world] by Ken Alder( Recording )
1 edition published in 2002 in English and held by 47 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 24 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
The measure of all things the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world by Ken Alder( )
3 editions published between 2002 and 2011 in English and held by 8 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
Uso hakkenki yo eiennare : Seigi no kikai ni toritsukareta hitobito by Ken Alder( Book )
2 editions published in 2008 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
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
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
The measure of all things the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world by Ken Alder( Visual )
1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
"In June 1792, in the midst of the French Revolution, two astronomers set out from Paris on a mission to measure the size of the world. Their goal was to establish a universal standard equal to one ten-millionth of the distance from the north pole to the equator--a unit to be known as the meter. After 7 years they returned to a hero's welcome. 'Conquests will come and go,' Napoleon proclaimed, 'but this work shall endure.' In the past 200 years, the meter has become the measure of the world. Yet all this time a secret "error" has been incorporated into the determination of the meter--an error known only to the two astronomers and hidden by them from public view. This history of their expedition will examine the origin of error analysis, the rise of modern geodesy, and history's first debate over globalization. Ken Alder , Department of History, Northwestern University." -- NIST Technicalendar announcement
Stepson of the Enlightenment : the duc Du Châtelet, the colonel who "caused" the French Revolution by Ken Alder( )
1 edition published in 1998 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
A Medida de todas as coisas : a odisséia de sete anos e o erra encoberto que transformaram o mundo by Ken Alder( Book )
1 edition published in 2003 in Portuguese and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
ha-kol lefi midah : ha-masa' ben sheva' ha-shanim she-shinah et ha-ʻolam by Ken Alder( Book )
1 edition published in 2006 in Hebrew and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
The measure of all things ( Visual )
1 edition published in 2002 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
Professor Alder discussed his book, The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World. He talked about the creation of the metric system and Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre and Pierre Francois-Andrew Mechain, the two French astronomers who set out to create a standard system of measurement by equating the distance of the meridian arc that runs from the North Pole to the Equator. It was agreed that the meter itself would equal one ten-millionth of this distance. Professor Alder discovered that the astronomers actually came up short in their measurement, but that the effort they made produced invaluable information about that shape and formation of the Earth. Following his talk, he answered questions from members of the audience
La medida de todas las cosas : la odisea de siete años y el error oculto que transformaron el mundo / K. Alder ; tr. por José Manuel Alvarez Flórez by Ken Alder( )
in Spanish and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
Traducción de: The Measure of All Things. The Seven Year Odyssey and Hidden Error that Transformed the World
Les tours detours du detecteur de mensonge by Ken Alder( )
1 edition published in 2001 in French and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
Las mentiras del detector de mentiras by Ken Alder( )
1 edition published in 2001 in Spanish and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
 
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Audience level: 0.34 (from 0.00 for The measur ... to 1.00 for ha-kol lef ...)
Alternative Names
オールダー, ケン
Languages
English (84)
Spanish (7)
French (5)
German (4)
Japanese (4)
Italian (3)
Portuguese (2)
Chinese (2)
Dutch (2)
Swedish (1)
Hebrew (1)
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