John Randel Jr. (1787 - 1865) was an eccentric and flamboyant surveyor renowned for his inventiveness as well as his bombast and irascibility. Tasked with "gridding" what was then an undeveloped, hilly island, Randel recorded the contours of Manhattan down to the rocks on its shores. In The Measure of Manhattan, Marguerite Holloway explores the science and symbolism of surveying; a craft that led to a surprising number of modern technologies. In his precision, Randel sought to tame the land; Holloway explores this philosophy as well as contemporary efforts to envision Manhattan as a wild island again. An eye-opening biography, The Measure of Manhattan is also about the ways we envision and inhabit the world.