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- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
As British-born Australian author Chris Pearce states in his book's preface, `After 25 years in federal and state public service and 12.5 years in two stints in the real world, I am now writing eBooks, researching my family history, doing a bit of consultancy editing, and contributing to a couple of writing sites in the US. I also compete in tenpin bowling. I have a background in economics, statistics, history, management, marketing and accounting. My wife and I live in Brisbane, Australia.' The reason for quoting the author's version of his resume is that it offers a fine example of what to expect in the style of writing of this ultimately navigable treatise on the history of and the value and frustrations of daylight saving time. His other books includes some of the best historical fiction available – “Through the Eyes of Thomas Pamphlet: Convict and Castaway” and ‘”A Weaver’s Web.”
Who truly understands Daylight saving time? It is usually a topic of grumbling about changing clocks, altering morning and evening schedules, and other manifestations of jetlag behavior. Finally, in this learned book, Chris Pearce enlightens us, presents both sides of the fence of those who find it beneficial and those who wish it would go away!
From his Preface we begin to understand the history – ‘Daylight saving time has been described as one of the most controversial issues in modern history. More than a century after it first came into the British Parliament in 1908 as a bill, the mere mention of daylight saving produces strong reactions from supporters and opponents alike. This encyclopedia of daylight saving time commemorates 100 years of the scheme since it was first introduced nationally in 1916 by European countries on both sides of World War I to save fuel. Part I examines the origins of daylight saving, including the historical development of calendars, clocks, standard time, and the idea of changing the clock to give more daylight late in the day. Part II looks at the history of daylight saving in the United Kingdom and Europe, while Part III covers the United States, Canada and the rest of North America. Australia and New Zealand are dealt with in Part IV. Daylight saving experiences of Asian, South American and African countries appear in Part V. An appendix details all years of daylight saving time for every country plus each state of the US, Canada (provinces), Australia and Brazil. The Great Daylight Saving Time Controversy features many intriguing and often prolonged battles between advocates and critics of daylight saving in countries around the world, as well as lighter moments. It highlights the determination of daylight saving time champions such as the UK’s William Willett, the US’s Robert Garland and Harley Staggers, New Zealand’s Thomas Sidey and Tasmania’s John Steer. It delves into the chaotic daylight saving situations that emerged, notably in the US and Canada, but also elsewhere. Every country and sometimes each state has a different and usually controversial story to tell. The sheer number of policy changes in some countries and states is astounding… By the term daylight saving time (DST), or just daylight saving, we really mean daylight shifting. There is of course no extra daylight. An hour more daylight in the evening is balanced by an hour less in the morning although in a sense daylight is “saved” from the early part of the day and used later. Other terms for the measure include daylight time, advanced time and fast time (all common in the US), summer time (common in the UK and Europe and parts of Asia and South America), and daylight savings time, usually regarded as incorrect. Australia mainly calls it daylight saving while Canada uses several of the terms.’
Through the use of extensive research (all backed by source references throughout), tables, illustrations, and some fine journalistic quips Chris walks us through the enigma of this controversial manipulation of mind and time. And at the end of this comprehensive book he closes by stating, ‘Daylight saving appears to be here to stay. Controversy will no doubt persist in many countries and states over whether to put the clocks forward all year, just in the warmer months, or not at all. Most people have firmly entrenched views, often depending on their lifestyle and where they live. The scheme is likely to remain largely a city versus country issue and revolve around factors such as energy savings, more light for evening activities, unsuitability in farming areas, children going to school in the dark, and climate. The amount of time and money spent by parliaments, councils, organisations and individuals in trying to decide the time or influence the process over more than a century across most countries and states would be impossible to calculate. Daylight saving has been one of the most controversial issues of the modern era and this looks set to continue into the foreseeable future and quite likely beyond.’
Informative and even entertaining, this is the ‘bible’ for the topic of Daylight saving time. Grady Harp, April 17