You are here

Whatever Happened to the Metric System?: How America Kept Its Feet (Hardcover)

    Special Order: Please email for availability


    The system of measurement for most of the world is the metric system, and for a time in the 1970s the United States appeared ready to switch from American standard measurement. The reasons it never happened get to the root of who we think we are, just as American measurements are woven into the ways we think. John Marciano chronicles the origins of measurement systems, the kaleidoscopic array of standards throughout Europe and the thirteen American colonies, the combination of intellect and circumstance that resulted in the metric system's creation in France in the wake of the French Revolution, and America's stubborn adherence to the hybrid United States Customary System ever since. As much as Whatever Happened to the Metric System? is a tale of quarters and tenths, it is a human drama, replete with great inventors, visionary presidents, obsessive activists, and science-loving technocrats.

    Anyone who reads this inquisitive, engaging story will never read Robert Frost's line "miles to go before I sleep" or eat a foot-long sub again without wondering, Whatever happened to the metric system?

    About the Author

    John Marciano is the author and illustrator of many books, including the distinctive reference titles Anonyponymous and Toponymity, as well as the children's books Madeline at the White House (a New York Times bestseller), Madeline and the Cats of Rome, and Harold's Tail. A word and math aficionado, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter, and two cats.

    Praise For…

    for Anonyponymous

    “A delightful dip.” —The New Yorker, on Anonyponymous

    “Marciano manages to be breezy and whimsical without losing any historical accuracy.” —Bookslut, on Anonyponymous

    Anonyponymous is like a one-handed cartwheel: powerful, elegant, and so impressive.” —Meredith Norton, author of Lopsided, on Anonyponymous

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781608194759
    ISBN-10: 1608194752
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
    Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
    Pages: 310
    Language: English