The WSJ have reviewed the David Baron’s new book.

On July 29, 1878, a hundred-mile-wide patch of midday darkness swept across a swath of the western United States. It was a total solar eclipse—a rare transit of the moon directly between earth and sun. Across the still-wild West, thousands of stargazers gathered, chasing a few minutes of astronomical measurements and ecstatic experience. Afterward, famed Scottish astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth congratulated his colleagues across the Atlantic on a scientific spectacle “which American men, and American instruments, methods, & ideas, have made more peculiarly & grandly American, than any Solar Eclipse you have… []

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