Politicians and scholars alike have dubbed the twenty-first century “The Pacific Century” to reflect the profound shift in global power toward the Asia-Pacific.  Even though it is the largest body of water on the planet, through which the majority of global trade passes, the history of the Pacific Ocean remains largely unknown to Westerners.  In PACIFIC: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers, Simon Winchester offers a detailed history of the Pacific from the atomic age to today.  In addition, Mr. Winchester explores how expanded resource exploitation, continued environmental degradation, and the rise of China will affect the Pacific region.  Simon Winchester discussed his book at a National Committee event on November 23 in New York City. 

Bio:

Simon Winchester, author, journalist, and broadcaster, has worked as a foreign correspondent for most of his career, although he graduated from Oxford in 1966 with a degree in geology and spent a year working as a geologist in the Ruwenzori Mountains in western Uganda, and on oil rigs in the North Sea, before taking his first newspaper job in 1967.

His journalistic work, mainly for The Guardian and The Sunday Times, has based him in Belfast, Washington, D.C., New Delhi, and New York, London, and Hong Kong, where he covered such stories as the Ulster crisis, the creation of Bangladesh, the fall of President Marcos, the Watergate affair, the Jonestown Massacre, and the assassination of Egypt’s President Sadat. He has been a freelance writer since 1987.

He now principally concentrates on writing books, although he contributes to a number of American and British magazines, newspapers, and journals, including Harper’s, The Smithsonian, The National Geographic Magazine, The Spectator, Granta, The New York Times and The Atlantic Monthly.  He was appointed Asia-Pacific editor of Conde Nast Traveler at its inception in 1987, later becoming editor-at-large.  His writings have won him several awards, including Britain’s Journalist of the Year.

His books cover a wide range of subjects, including a study of the remaining British Empire, the colonial architecture of India, the American Midwest, his experience of  months in an Argentine prison on spying charges, his description of a six-month walk through the Korean peninsula. His more recent books include The Man Who Loved China, which detailed the life of Joseph Needham, ATLANTIC: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, a biography of the Atlantic Ocean, The Alice Behind Wonderland, a biography on Alice Lidell, and The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible.

Mr. Winchester was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by HM The Queen in 2006. He received the honor in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Simon Winchester lives in western Massachusetts.

Monday, November 23, 2015
5:30 PM to 7:00 PM EST

Speaker(s): 
Simon Winchester

Venue: 
Covington & Burling LLP
New York, NY

Event Video

  • Simon Winchester on PACIFIC

    Simon Winchester discusses the significance of the Pacific Ocean, and analyzes the impact the ocean will have on the geopolitics of the twenty-first century. Recorded 11/23/15.

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