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Short Synopsis
An extraordinary work of historical detection and originality, Brilliant Beacons vividly reframes America's history through the development of its lighthouses.

Full Synopsis
In a work rich in maritime lore and brimming with original historical detail, Eric Jay Dolin, the bestselling author of Leviathan, presents the most comprehensive history of American lighthouses ever written, telling the story of America through the prism of its beloved coastal sentinels. Set against the backdrop of an expanding nation, Brilliant Beacons traces the evolution of America's lighthouse system, highlighting the political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation's hardscrabble coastlines. In rollicking detail, Dolin treats listeners to a memorable cast of characters, including the penny-pinching Treasury official Stephen Pleasonton, who hamstrung the country's efforts to adopt the revolutionary "Fresnel Lens," and presents tales both humorous and harrowing of soldiers, saboteurs, ruthless egg collectors, and most importantly, the light-keepers themselves.

"A delightful journey with excellent sketches, renderings, and resources for museums and organizations." ---Kirkus Starred Review

"Brilliant Beacons is the best history of American lighthouses ever written." ---Jeremy D'Entremont, author of Lovers' Light

"Brilliant Beacons is a fascinating, page-turning, and, yes, illuminating read." ---Thor Hanson, author of The Triumph of Seeds

"With his usual narrative flair and wonderfully entertaining writing style, Dolin sheds all sorts of new light on American history." ---Toby Lester, author of The Fourth Part of the World

"This meticulously researched and fascinating book isn't just for maritime history buffs but for all of us who appreciate little-known tales of days gone by." ---Michael Tougias, author of A Storm Too Soon

"Dolin delivers the most thorough and absorbing study of American lighthouses in over 40 years…" ---Library Journal
Kirkus Review

Brilliant Beacons

A History of the American Lighthouse

Author Eric Jay Dolin

Narrated by Tom Perkins

Publication date Apr 18, 2016

Running time 14 hrs 13 min

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