Mars: A Tour of the Human Imagination

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005 - History - 208 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified


What is Mars? From the ancients to the present, we have imagined Mars repeatedly and studied it longingly. As scientific knowledge of Mars has changed, so has the cultural imagination of this celestial neighbors. The earth-centered beginnings of astronomy connected the blood-red planet with the God of War. The Copernican Revolution and a later, simple mistranslation from Italian supported fantastic visions of distant Mars as the abode of life variously bizarre, ideal, or malignant. In the work of H. G. Wells and Orson Welles, in books, films, radio, and television, Mars reflected not only eternal hopes and fears but then-current political realities. In recent years, NASA-fication has brought Mars home, imagining the Red Planet almost as an eighth continent of Earth, a candidate for exploration and exploitation both in fiction and in fact. Rabkin weaves a chronological tale of many threads, including mythology, astrology, astronomy, literary criticism, and cultural studies.


More than 60 brief chapters focus on people, events, or phenomena concerning the eternal object of curiosity, Mars. This rich series of readable, illustrated chapters can be sampled at will for the fun of discovery, read sequentially as a connected history, or enjoyed as a resource for the contemplation. Featuring over 100 illustrations, this unique examination of humanity's most storied companion serves as a resource for the study of ourselves.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Contents

Red Light in the Black Sky
1
Starry Night
2
Har Decher
3
The Idealized Solar System
6
What Was A Planet?
7
Nergal
9
Ares
12
Mars
14
A World Ready to Believe
119
A Lowellian Utopia
121
Mars and America
125
The Bar from Barsoom
132
Dead Mars?
133
The War of the Worlds Broadcast
135
Playing With Aliens
141
An American Fairyland
143

The Sunset of Mars
19
Changes in Venus
21
Metaphorical Mars
24
Ptolemy
26
The Observation of the Planets
28
Astrological Symbols
30
Days of the Week
33
Alchemy
36
The Mars Symbol
39
Reorganizing the Universe
41
Putting Mars In Its Place
46
Questions of Authority
51
How Space Became Empty
55
Other Earths?
58
Very Very Carefully
60
One Big Universe
62
Mars On Their Minds
65
Imaginary Travels
67
Stars and Mars
73
The Solar System Today
78
The Sons of Mars
79
Gaining in Translation
82
Astrophile Extraordinaire
86
A Glorious Obsession
92
Mapping Mars and Martians
96
The War of the Worlds
104
Another View From Mars
115
The War of the Worlds again
148
Us vs Them
150
Off to Camp
154
Chemosphere
157
The Martian Savior
160
Enter NASA
162
My Favorite Martian
164
The Age of Aquarius
166
The Face on Mars
168
Mars Attacks
172
Leaving Earth Behind
173
Mars Today
174
Phobos and Deimos Today
176
Men Are From Mars
177
The NASAfication of Mars
179
The Eighth Continent
184
Marscape
185
Terraforming Mars
188
Red Rover
191
Water on Mars
193
Land of Spirit and Opportunity
195
August 2003
198
The Beagle Hasnt Landed
199
ARoving We Will Go
201
INDEX
205
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Eric S. Rabkin teaches in the Department of English at the University of Michigan. He is the author (and editor) of more than 30 books on science fiction and writing, including Science Fiction: A Historical Anthology and The Fantastic in Literature, and more than 100 articles in scholarly and mainstream media.

Bibliographic information