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 a conversation with NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins, 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, 2015, in New York City.

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. Mr. Winchester now principally concentrates on writing books, although he contributes to a number of American and British magazines, newspapers, and journals, including Harper’sThe 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