Thursday, September 30, 2021

About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks (David Rooney)

Everything in our lives revolves around time -- our work schedules, our meals, our exercise classes, and so much more. For thousands of years, people have measured time in varying ways and through varying devices. David Rooney’s About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks chronicles the evolution of time and timekeeping. 

Civilizations throughout history have used some method to keep track of time. From sundials in Rome to water clocks in imperial China, from observatories in India to modern day GPS satellites, clocks have helped us travel, build, modernize, and more. Those in power have used time to wield power, make money, and govern. Some have also struggled with time and have fought those in power over it. About Time shares many several moments throughout history to show how time has been used. 

About Time was a fun read, albeit a brief one. I would have loved to see more backstory on some of the earlier technology and to see the last chapter expounded out a bit more. That said, this book is a casual, enjoyable use of your free time and is well-suited for any history buff.