Smoot's Ear
  • Sep 24, 2007
    224 p., 5 x 8
    20 b/w illus.
    ISBN: 9780300124927
  • Cloth: $25.00 tx
Art and Architecture

Smoot's Ear

The Measure of Humanity

  • Robert Tavernor


"Robert Tavernor's entertaining and thought-provoking lecture challenges how we measure..."---Catherine Croft, Building Design

"At the book's heart is the changeover from ancient methods of measurement based like Smoot on the human body, to the metric system, derived from a more 'scientific' measurement of the earth's dimensions...It's a story that Tavernor tells well, with an acute awareness of the ironies and human failings it contains." --- Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times

"Tavernor writes with commendable clarity and economy." -Tibor Fischer, The Sunday Telegraph

"[Tavernor's] raw material is fascinating, and his argument appealing." -Jonathan Sale, The Independent

"Tavernor has uncovered an entertaining and quirky world." -The First Post

"...a highly readable account of the measuring systems man devised over two millennia...The book explores changing attitudes to measurement focusing on art, architecture, philosophy and the development of scientific thought." - Architectural Review

"An interesting and novel approach to understanding how mankind measures things. . . . Anyone with an even passing curiosity about history in general, and especially how various aspects of history—politics, art, science, geography—all find themselves interconnected, should be drawn to this book. . . . Tremendously rewarding."—Isaac M. McPhee, Suite 101

"For humor, quirkiness, and, most especially, relevance in an opening anecdote, it's hard to top the story in Robert Tavernor's Smoot's Ear: The Measure of Humanity. . . . A scholarly work with a broad and deep examination of units of measurment both ancient  and modern." —Ray Bert, Civil Engineering