Monturiol's Dream

Monturiol's Dream : The Submarine Inventor Who Wanted to Save the World

4.03 (29 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Set in mid-19th century Barcelona, this is the remarkable story of an unlikely genius who went on to change the course of science and the development of an entire culture. Monturiol's Dream weaves together several narratives to provide a compelling chapter in a secret history of the world's transition to modernity. It revolves around the strange and noble life of Narcis Monturiol, a utopian social revolutionary, political misfit and self-taught engineer who, improbably, invented the world's first fully operational submarine in Barcelona during the mid-19th century. His feat of visionary engineering was to Barcelona what the lunar landings would be to America in the 20th century. But Monturiol's utopian ideals would also be applied to the redesign of the city of Barcelona and ultimately contributing to the modern discipline of urban planning. Others inspired by Monturiol would contribute to the music, literature, art and architecture that spawned the celebrated rebirth of Catalan culture around the turn of the 20th century. This elegantly written and extensively illustrated book contains the story of an extraordinary individual and his pioneering technical achievement. But the story of Monturiol is also the story of a unique city and its remarkable transformation.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 144 x 202 x 38mm | 539.78g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Main
  • 1861974701
  • 9781861974709

Review quote

Anyone who enjoyed Longitude will love Monturiol's Dream...A self-taught man who had made the fiction of Captain Nemo a reality before Verne ever wrote his wonderful novel. This was a man who took a concept which was science fiction and sculpted it into reality...The technical brilliance of Monturiol is undeniable and makes for remarkable reading...Monturiol's Dream is a fascinating, inspiring and utterly delightful scientific history...What I took most from this gorgeous little book ...was...a sense of pure wonder. * The Alien Online * It's outrageous that for so long he has been ignored. Monturiol is a hero who deserves his place in history...Monturiol is a hero who deserves his place in history...however, his creation was destined to escape his control. * Daily Express * A fascinating portrait of a forgotten figure * Sunday Tribune * Narcis Monturiol was responsible for one of the most significant transport inventions yet he is hardly known...One of the great untold stories of the 19th century * Nottingham Evening Post * Matthew Stewart's excellent biography charts the life of one of the world's most important, yet almost unknown, inventors...The unbreakable utopian spirit that drove Monturiol is definitely worth remembering, and this excellent biography should help to place him on a wider map. * Scotland on Sunday * There are many roads to utopia. You can publish revolutionary literature. You can take the battle to the streets. Or you can build a giant wooden fish and paddle it around beneath the waters of Barcelona harbour. Only one person has tried all three...Stewart's real theme is the utopian dream that drives inventors and revolutionaries alike. Monturiol was both, offering a unique opportunity to understand the mindset responsible for the constant change that is the only abiding feature of technology and human affairs. * Physics World *
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About Matthew Stewart

Matthew Stewart has a PhD in Philosophy from Oxford and a BA in Politics from Princeton. His previous book was a history of philosophy, The Truth About Everything (1997). He now lives in New York, but spent his formative years living in Barcelona.
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Rating details

29 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 41% (12)
4 28% (8)
3 24% (7)
2 7% (2)
1 0% (0)
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