Totality : the great American eclipses of 2017 and 2024
Littmann, Mark. by Mark Littmann and Fred Espenak Oxford, 2017 347p bibl index, 9780198795698 $29.95, 9780192514899
Similar to Littmann’s earlier book, Totality: Eclipses of the Sun (CH, Nov’91, 29-1512), in which he concentrated on the 1991 eclipse, this book focuses on the upcoming total solar eclipses of 2017 and 2024, which will be visible in the US. Espenak, an eclipse expert and astrophysicist emeritus at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and Littmann (Univ. of Tennessee) cover a wide range of eclipse topics, including the history of eclipses, reactions of animals and people, and how to safely observe and/or photograph an eclipse. Short articles by eclipse veterans, anecdotes, and excellent illustrations and images enliven the text. For the two featured eclipses, there are maps, recommendations for roads to use, and weather predictions. Michael Bakich’s Your Guide to the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse (CH, Jan’17, 54-2196) has more practical advice on equipment and activities but fewer references and anecdotes. Copious references and notes make Totality: The Great American Eclipses of 2017 and 2024 suitable as a resource beyond the two featured eclipses—especially the maps for eclipses from 2017 to 2045 and the appendix listing those for 2017 to 2070.
Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and general readers. Reviewer: M.-K. Hemenway, University of Texas at Austin – retired Recommendation: Recommended Readership Level: General Readers, Lower-division Undergraduates, Two-Year Technical Program Students Choice Issue: Oct 2017