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Inventing Chemistry: Herman Boerhaave and the Reform of the Chemical Arts

by John C. Powers

In Inventing Chemistry, historian John C. Powers turns his attention to Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738), a Dutch medical and chemical professor whose work reached a wide, educated audience and became the template for chemical knowledge in the eighteenth century. The primary focus of this study is Boerhaave's educational philosophy, and Powers traces its development from Boerhaave's early days as a student in Leiden through his publication of the Elementa chemiae in 1732. Powers reveals how Boerhaave restructured and reinterpreted various practices from diverse chemical traditions (including craft chemistry, Paracelsian medical chemistry, and alchemy), shaping them into a chemical course that conformed to the pedagogical and philosophical norms of Leiden University's medical faculty. In doing so, Boerhaave gave his chemistry a coherent organizational structure and philosophical foundation and thus transformed an artisanal practice into an academic discipline. Inventing Chemistry is essential reading for historians of chemistry, medicine, and academic life.

Raging Sea: Powerful Account of Worst Tsunami In U.S. History

by Powers Dennis M.

TSUNAMI One Night. One Disaster. One American Town Devastated in the Blink of an Eye. On Good Friday, 1964, the town of Crescent City, California was bustling as it prepared for the long Easter weekend. No one there knew that thousands of miles away, an earthquake registering 8. 4 on the Richter scale was tearing through Alaska. And no one knew the quake would set off a series of tidal waves that would stretch across the Pacific and right to their back doors--turning some residents into victims, and others into heroes. . . . Author Dennis M. Powers has written the first book ever devoted to the shocking event that all but destroyed scenic Crescent City--and tested the fortitude of its 3,000 residents. Weaving together historical research with the compelling accounts of survivors, Powers re-creates the events of the fateful night when thirty city blocks were ravaged, 289 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, and eleven people lost their lives. But The Raging Sea is not just the stunning, well-crafted account of a real-life natural disaster. Chronicling the moment-by-moment efforts of several local heroes, it is the story of the remarkable courage displayed by those who came together before, during, and after the tsunami to save the lives of friends and strangers--often at the risk or even loss of their own. It's the story of how Crescent City rose up from the ashes of disaster to face its new, if uncertain, future--and a testimonial to the iron will and spirit of a community determined to survive. "Reminds us that tragedy often brings out the best in people. " --Willie Drye, author of Storm of the Century "A must-read because nature is capable of a repeat performance. " --Rob Mundle, author of Fatal Storm Dennis M. Powers was a full-time attorney specializing in business law before turning his concentration to writing ten years ago. He is the author of five published nonfiction books, among other publications, and has been researching the story of the Crescent City tidal wave for over ten years. A graduate of the Harvard Business School, he is currently a full professor in the School of Business at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, where he resides with his wife, Judy, three cats, one dog, and libraries of books.

Treasure Ship:

by Powers Dennis M.

Praise for Dennis M. Powers and Treasure Ship "In recounting the disastrous sinking and miraculous recovery of the S. S. Brother Jonathan, Dennis M. Powers shows his prodigious research abilities. Every time you think this story couldn''t possibly take another strange turn, Powers proves that it can, and he does so in highly entertaining fashion. " --Alison Frankel, author of Double Eagle: The Epic Story of the World''s Most Valuable Coin "A remarkable piece of nautical literature. Well researched in every detail, Treasure Ship captures the intrigue of one of the most storied ship disasters on the American West Coast. " --Jim Gibbs, author of Pacific Graveyard "Powers captures the era beautifully. Treasure Ship is a thoroughly engaging read. . . . a fine companion work to Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea. " --Kevin F. McMurray, author of Deep Descent, Dark Descent "Powers weaves his extensive research about a shipwreck in 1865 into a fascinating tale whose intrigue continues for 150 years. " --Judith A. Howard, author of Category 5: The Story of Camille "Dennis Powers brings history to life, as he relates with compelling drama this classic nautical adventure, the true story of a ship''s sinking that is as fascinating as the story of the Titanic. " --David Flohr, Director and Treasurer, Deep Sea Research, Inc. "The author recounts the last voyage of the S. S. Brother Jonathan, long shrouded in mystery, with accuracy and skill. " --William Kooiman, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park "I could not put it down! An engrossing and detailed account of a human tragedy, the near miraculous discovery of sunken treasure, and the long legal battle that followed. " --Fletcher Alford, Esq. , Partner in Gordon & Rees LLP, attorney for Deep Sea Research, Inc. Caught in tumultuous seas off the coast of northern California in 1865, the 220-foot sidewheeler S. S. Brother Jonathan skidded down the face of a massive wave and slammed into an uncharted reef. Her nine-story mast crashed through the bottom of the ship and within forty-five minutes she went under, taking with her 225 souls and millions of dollars'' worth of newly minted gold bars and coins. Only 19 people in a battered lifeboat made it to shore, and over the next several weeks, bodies and pieces of the ship washed up along a 125-mile stretch of the coast. For more than a hundred years the ship''s treasure would remain one of the Pacific''s great secrets. Countless expeditions searched for the ship and her treasure. However, storms in the area are notoriously unpredictable, and the seas are so treacherous that a 160-foot wave once blew out the top windows of the lighthouse that was erected after the tragedy. In 1942, following a monstrous storm, whiskey kegs from the ship washed ashore, yet her final resting place remained a mystery--until 1993. Based on ten years of exhaustive research into previously untapped sources, Treasure Ship tells the harrowing tale of the last voyage of the Brother Jonathan and her passengers, which included prospectors, dignitaries, card sharks, young families¯and even a notorious madam with seven of her "soiled doves. " The final moments as the ship went down were filled with acts of steadfast courage and quiet dignity, and just weeks later expeditions began to hunt for the ship and her golden cargo. Treasure Ship chronicles the epic quest of the Deep Sea Research team, whose unique thinking and application of technology led them to the ship''s ultimate resting place. They brought up well over one thousand gold coins and a lot of trouble, as descendants of the passengers, shippers, the state of California, and the salvors themselves vied for ownership of the treasure. The dispute raged all the way to the Supreme Court, where a crucial precedent was set that now governs all treasure hunters. Meanwhile, incredibly, another battle broke out over the authenticity of historic gold bars secretly recovered from the Brother Jonathan in the 1930s--a battle that still resounds among collectors and gold experts everywher...

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