Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement

A revelatory and vibrant story of measurement which will make you look at the world around you anew.

We measure rainfall and radiation, the depths of space and the emptiness of atoms, calories and steps, happiness and pain. But how did measurement become ubiquitous in modern life? When did humanity first take up scales and rulers, and why does this practice hold authority over so many aspects of our lives?

Written with vim and dazzling intelligence, James Vincent provides a fresh and original perspective on human history as he tracks our long search for dependable truths in a chaotic universe. Full of mavericks and visionaries, adventure and the unexpected, Beyond Measure shows that measurement has not only made the world we live in, it has made us too. A revelatory and vibrant story of measurement which will make you look at the world around you anew.

Reviews

“A wildly ambitious book by a formidably talented young writer.”
Robert Macfarlane

“Absolutely fascinating . . . vivid, charming and masterly.”
AMELIA HORGAN, author of Lost in Work

“Vivid, epic, and full of curiosities. This is a book to delight and fascinate.”
Tim Harford, author of How to Make the World Add Up

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