The Measure of Manhattan: the Tumultous Career and Surprising Legacy of John Randel, Jr., Cartographer, Surveyor, inventor

Wed, Jul 24, 2013
W. W. Norton & Company

John Randel Jr. (1787-1865) was an eccentric and flamboyant 19th-century surveyor who plotted Manhattan’s famous defining grid, the 1811 Commissioners’ Plan. Unearthing Randel’s engrossing and dramatic life story for the first time, Marguerite Holloway’s eye-opening biography resurrects this unheralded pioneer of American engineering and mapmaking.The Measure of Manhattan illuminates the ways in which surveying and cartography change the ground beneath our feet. Bringing Randel’s story into the present, Holloway travels with contemporary surveyors and scientists trying to envision Manhattan as a wild island once again.

Marguerite Holloway

Marguerite Holloway, the director of Science and Environmental Journalism at Columbia University, has written for Scientific American, Discover, the New York Times, Natural History, and Wired.

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