concept to publication

Month: May 2011

Third blurb in

Gary Snyder generously agreed to review my manuscript despite being in the middle of extensive traveling (to L.A. for a Lew Welch memorial and to Spain with Jim Harrison). I’m deeply grateful.

1616: The World in Motion is a brilliant creative examination and interpretation of the developed world’s recent history: east, middle, and west. In the seventeenth century, a sailing trip from London to Asia meant a year or more out of touch. Religion was about getting into a program that guaranteed you for eternity—one’s permanent status in the universe was at stake—and world population was one tenth of what it is now. Life was rich and intense. Christensen argues that there was already a global economy and a kind of Eastern Enlightenment in the works, as well as Occidental early science. He documents the affluence of the main civilizations of East Asia, South Asia, the Near East, and Western Europe and the significant colonial civilization in Central and South America. It is a treasure of plates of art and maps alone. The human future might hope to be a world like 1666 but with electricity. Back to that 90% lower population would leave room for solar panels, whales, Siberian tigers, cranes, dragons, and saints.

— Gary Snyder

This will probably be all the blurb work I’ll be doing until I get the ms. cleaned up and into galleys, when I’ll do another round.


Second blurb in

I just received this blurb from Emily Sano. Emily was kind enough to read the manuscript on short notice. She writes, “I read the whole book! Loved it.” That makes me happy!

In 1616: The World in Motion, Christensen conducts a horizontal survey of the world—the entire globe—at a single point in time. With a masterful command of facts and data, he ties together events in a brisk narrative, revealing a world “in motion,” vibrant with remarkable solutions, activities, and individuals. He shows how separate threads affected one another, transformed discourse, and contributed to the development of a truly global culture fully four centuries ago.

— Emily Sano, director emeritus, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

First blurb in

Peter Laufer was kind enough to provide a blurb on short notice, working from the not-quite-finished manuscript:

Tom Christensen’s vividly illustrated 1616: The World in Motion is filled with unforgettable characters and stories that illuminate many of today’s global aches and joys. Immersing ourselves in this watershed year reminds us that if we look carefully every year counts, a lesson that can keep us mindful through the passing of our own years.

— Peter Laufer, James Wallace Chair in Journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and author, The Dangerous World of Butterflies and Forbidden Creatures

You might have seen Peter on the Daily Show:



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