Stephen R. Bown

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Born
in Ottawa, Canada
Website

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Member Since
January 2008

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www.facebook.com/srbown
I am a critically acclaimed author of nine literary non-fiction books on the history of science, exploration and ideas. I take a biographical and narrative approach to my writing, using the techniques of fiction writing – strong storytelling, creative language, emphasizing people, their decisions, actions and motivations – to tell factually and historically accurate stories. I believe that people and their behavior never change, only the context is different. My lifelong interest in history is fueled by the lessons to be learned from studying the successes and failures of history's greatest thinkers, leaders and innovators, those who challenged conventional thinking and entrenched power structures to change their worl
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Average rating: 3.86 · 2,367 ratings · 350 reviews · 13 distinct worksSimilar authors
Scurvy: How a Surgeon, a Ma...

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The Last Viking: The Life o...

4.06 avg rating — 721 ratings — published 2012 — 19 editions
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Merchant Kings: When Compan...

3.79 avg rating — 275 ratings — published 2009 — 8 editions
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1494: How a Family Feud in ...

3.77 avg rating — 177 ratings — published 2011 — 11 editions
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White Eskimo: Knud Rasmusse...

4.04 avg rating — 129 ratings — published 2012 — 9 editions
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Island of the Blue Foxes: D...

4.05 avg rating — 86 ratings — published 2017 — 6 editions
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A Most Damnable Invention: ...

3.74 avg rating — 65 ratings — published 2005 — 9 editions
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Madness, Betrayal and the L...

3.90 avg rating — 73 ratings — published 2008 — 5 editions
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The Golden Age of Piracy

3.25 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2012
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Sightseers and Scholars: Sc...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2002 — 2 editions
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More books by Stephen R. Bown…
Huffington Post blog and video interview:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/stephen-...
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Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on the World's Greatest Scientific Expedition (History)
1 chapters   —   updated Oct 19, 2017 04:48PM
Description: Excerpt of the Prologue
Excerpt from White Eskimo: Knud Rasmussen's Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic (Biographies & Memoirs)
1 chapters   —   updated Sep 18, 2015 01:21PM
Description: Prologue
Madness, Betrayal and the Lash: The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver (History)
1 chapters   —   updated Mar 29, 2010 04:33PM
Description: A tale of maritime daring and betrayal, and a long overdue re-evaluation of one of the greatest explorers of the Age of Discovery
Scurvy: How a Surgeon, a Mariner and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail (History)
0 chapters   —   updated Jan 17, 2008 08:31PM
Description: History of the mariner's disease and how solving the scurvy problem helped the British Royal Navy to defeat Napoleon.

Stephen’s Recent Updates

Stephen R. Bown wrote a new blog post
Stephen rated a book really liked it
Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin
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I loved how this book roved around time and place drawing (perhaps tenuous) threads of connection between most of the major arctic and antarctic expeditions of the 19th and early 20th centuries. My only complaint is I wish it had all come together be ...more
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White Eskimo by Stephen R. Bown
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The Bastard of Fort Stikine by Debra Komar
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I really enjoyed this book on the Canadian fur trade - 4.5 stars. This is an intriguing way of presenting a historical tale that might otherwise suffer from a lack of verifiable information. Worth reading if you have any interest in 19th century west ...more
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The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker
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A good addition to the "food" genre, with an interesting premise - that industrial food has lost its flavor and therefore needs chemists to "enhance" it to make it palatable. He I believe establishes his point in a well written and clear narrative.
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That Went By Fast by Frank White
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This book is an unappreciated gem. what a great sense of humor - how many people live to be over one hundred and still retain their ability to tell a witty, amusing and wise tale of their life and the changing world around them?
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The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
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Unusual dreamy story dealing with myth, history and memory.
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Tuco by Brian Brett
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Be prepared to be surprised and delighted - odd, quirky, non-linear - all told a brilliant and sensitive book that is most certainly not exclusively about a parrot.
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Norval Morrisseau by Armand Garnet Ruffo
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A dreamy and insightful exploration of this highly unusual and controversial public figure, one of Canada's most accomplished and famous artists.
More of Stephen's books…
“The only currency that we really have to spend during our lives is time. Everything else is just a sub-category.”
Stephen R. Bown

“A hero, in his mind, was not someone who suffered disaster after disaster, heroically pulling through with great endurance, but rather one who focused his intelligence and skills to avoid disaster, thus succeeding by good planning and crafty decision making.”
Stephen R. Bown, The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen

“Gjøa was later presented as a gift to the city of San Francisco, remaining on display in Golden Gate Park until 1972, when it was returned to Norway. It now resides in Oslo harbour, next to two other famous Norwegian ships, Fridtjof Nansen’s Fram and Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki.”
Stephen R. Bown, The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen

Polls

55838
Spotlighted Book Discussion Poll I - October 26, 2011

This is a poll that adds other books to our listing of potential non fiction books to discuss and also helps the moderators determine which one or ones are the most popular. Since we have many more group members than when we first started; voting in the polls is very important. There will be a series of polls. Many of these books have been recommended by group members but were either not selected before nor voted upon before.

Vote for the book that you would most like to read and/or is the book that you believe that would appeal to the most group members.

Note:

We have added some of the books nominated thus far but we have more to add to other polls. However, this poll was getting quite large.

However, if you do not see your favorite book on this list; then just comment or pop me a note and I will immediately add it to this poll.

You can always change your vote at any time; so nothing is lost. There are some books which have been nominated by the same author; however, skip over those if the particular author does not suit you and vote for your favorite or for one you or others might want to read.

Before making your selection, please try to look up your choice and make sure it really is a book you are interested in or you think others would be; do not be lured in by the title. Also, check out the author and what others have said about the book before you (reviewers who you trust). Then of course, make your selection.

And if you do not see your favorite, just contact me and I will add it to the poll.

Cleopatra A Life by Stacy Schiff Stacy SchiffStacy Schiff

Cleopatra: A Life
 
  18 votes, 10.6%

Hero The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda by Michael Korda

Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia
 
  13 votes, 7.6%

The Storm of War A New History of the Second World War by Andrew Roberts by Andrew Roberts

The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
 
  12 votes, 7.1%

A Country of Vast Designs James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent by Robert W. Merry by Robert W. Merry

A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent
 
  12 votes, 7.1%

Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman by Philip Freeman

Alexander the Great
 
  12 votes, 7.1%

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett by Allison Hoover BartlettAllison Hoover Bartlett

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession
 
  11 votes, 6.5%

 
  9 votes, 5.3%

Horse Soldiers The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan by Doug Stanton by Doug Stanton

Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers
 
  7 votes, 4.1%

The Clockwork Universe Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnickby Edward Dolnick

The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society and the Birth of the Modern World
 
  6 votes, 3.5%

A History of God The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by Karen Armstrong Karen ArmstrongKaren Armstrong

A History of God: The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
 
  5 votes, 2.9%

Newton and the Counterfeiter The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist by Thomas Levensonby Thomas Levenson

Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist
 
  5 votes, 2.9%

The Idea of America Reflections on the Birth of the United States by Gordon S. Wood Gordon S. WoodGordon S. Wood

The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States
 
  4 votes, 2.4%

The Ascent of Money A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson Niall FergusonNiall Ferguson

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
 
  4 votes, 2.4%

The Painter's Chair George Washington and the Making of American Art by Hugh Howard by Hugh Howard

The Painter's Chair: George Washington and the Making of American Art
 
  4 votes, 2.4%

Winston's War Churchill, 1940-1945 by Max Hastings by Max HastingsMax Hastings

Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

A History of the American People by Paul Johnson by Paul JohnsonPaul Johnson

A History of the American People
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

The Birth of Modern Politics Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828 (Pivotal Moments in American History) by Lynn Hudson Parsons by Lynn Hudson Parsons

The Birth of Modern Politics: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams and the Election of 1828
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Churchill by Paul Johnson by Paul JohnsonPaul Johnson

Churchill
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Letters from America by Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis de TocquevilleAlexis de Tocqueville

Letters from America
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

U. S. Grant American Hero, American Myth by Joan Waugh Joan WaughJoan Waugh

U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy by Donald Kagan by Donald Kagan

Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Destiny Disrupted A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary by Tamim Ansary

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Modern Times The World from the 20s to the 90s by Paul Johnson by Paul JohnsonPaul Johnson

Modern Times: The World from the 20s to the 90s
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments by George B. Johnson by George B. Johnson

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

God's Battalions The Case for the Crusades by Rodney Stark Rodney StarkRodney Stark

God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith Adam SmithAdam Smith

The Wealth of Nations
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Age of Wonder How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes by Richard HolmesRichard Holmes

The Age of Wonder
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Union War by Gary W. Gallagher by Gary W. Gallagher

The Union War
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

Decision Points by George W. Bush by George W. BushGeorge W. Bush

Decision Points
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

Civilization The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson by Niall FergusonNiall Ferguson

Civilization: The West and the Rest
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Journey by Tony Blair Tony BlairTony Blair

The Journey
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

Thucydides The Reinvention of History by Donald KaganDonald Kagan

Thucydides: The Reinvention of History
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

 
  1 vote, 0.6%

Courage and Consequence My Life as a Conservative in the Fight by Karl Rove by Karl RoveKarl Rove

Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight
 
  1 vote, 0.6%

Party over Section The Rough and Ready Presidential Election of 1848 (American Presidential Elections) by Joel H. Silbey by Joel H. Silbey

Party Over Section: The Rough and Ready Presidential Election of 1848
 
  1 vote, 0.6%

Madam Secretary A Memoir by Madeleine Albright Madeleine AlbrightMadeleine Albright

Madam Secretary: A Memoir
 
  1 vote, 0.6%

The Theory of Moral Sentiments  by Adam Smith by Adam SmithAdam Smith

The Theory of Moral Sentiments
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

Merchant Kings by Stephen R. Bown Stephen R. BownStephen R. Bown

Merchant Kings
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

A History of Christianity by Paul Johnson Paul JohnsonPaul Johnson

A History of Christianity
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

A History of the Jews (Perennial Library) by Paul Johnson Paul JohnsonPaul Johnson

A History of the Jews
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

Jesus A Biography, from a Believer by Paul Johnsonby Paul JohnsonPaul Johnson


Jesus: A Biography from a Believer
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

More...
“I may say that this is the greatest factor: the way in which the expedition is equipped, the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order, luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time, this is called bad luck.”
Roald Amundsen

“The only currency that we really have to spend during our lives is time. Everything else is just a sub-category.”
Stephen R. Bown

25x33 Explorers and Exploration — 19 members — last activity Jul 24, 2009 10:07PM
Famous explorers, less famous adventurers, exploring expeditions and the like
5114 Friends who write — 46 members — last activity Jul 16, 2009 08:38AM
a group for people who either just dabble with being literary or are really serious about the craft. I Always say --It's a paying hobby with me doing ...more
25x33 Exploration and Survival — 23 members — last activity Jun 26, 2011 03:53AM
This is a group... I suppose to help get a library going of books about Exploration, History, and Survival. Mostly non-fiction here, but maybe a few h ...more
1153 Armchair Sailors — 281 members — last activity Aug 18, 2018 10:28AM
A group to discuss historical fiction involving sailing ships--think Patrick O'Brian or C.S Forester--and the Golden Age of Sail. Ahoy! Photo: Brig "L ...more



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