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Asimov's New Guide to Science [Hardcover]

Isaac Asimov
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1984 0465004733 978-0465004737 Rev Sub
Asimov tells the stories behind the science: the men and women who made the important discoveries and how they did it. Ranging from Galilei, Achimedes, Newton and Einstein, he takes the most complex concepts and explains it in such a way that a first-time reader on the subject feels confident on his/her understanding.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Isaac Asimov authored over 400 books in a career that lasted nearly 50 years. As a leading scientific writer, historian, and futurist, he covered a variety of subjects ranging from mathematics to humor, and won numerous awards for his work. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Rev Sub edition (October 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465004733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465004737
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a great book March 6, 2004
By A Customer
I was a young reader and my personality was still not set. So many "bad" books kept pulling me in the wrong directions. I read all bestsellers though they taught me nothing. A day came when I had nothing to read and I happened to come across this book in my elder brother's library. It was written long before I was born. Yet, as I was truly bored, I began to read it and I was hooked before long. The world of Science was visible to me and, for the first time in my life, it looked attractive. I can truly say that this book changed my life. I now am completing my pre-med degree and will be off to medical school before long. I have never been happier; Science has become my life. Thank you Isaac Asimov.

Update for anyone interested 12/20/2011:
Ha! I cannot believe that was me! I had such an odd, self-important way of writing back then. I graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in biology with minors in chemistry and English. Managed to get sidetracked, became somewhat of a hippie, and did not go to medical school. Don't freak out yet! Science is still my religion, but now it is specifically environmental science. I was accepted into a lovely graduate program and am on the verge of finishing my thesis. Have sent out a few applications for phd programs in ecology. Overall: toss aside your Da Vinci Codes and whatnots, kids, because science will rock your world!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most exhilarating text ! April 9, 2003
I have a personal small "library" of scientific books. This book has to be, by far, the most well structured, well explained, systematic and exhilarating read. I would rate this book as number 1 among possibly 50 similar books that I have read. If you are technically enthusiastic, would like to know about anything and everything pertaining to science and have a jolly good read at that, I would highly recommend this book. Asimov is gifted as a writer, in that he takes the most complex concepts and explains it in such a way, that a first-time reader on the subject feels confident of his/her understanding. If you have lots of time (900 pages of size 10 text!), are a thinker and want to begin to understand the great works of genii ranging from archimedes, galileo, newton and einstein, this book is for you! Well done to a man long gone. He leaves a legacy of genius !
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My First Choice Science Text November 23, 2002
By A Customer
In my opinion, Asimov provided the most entertaining and readable scientific "texts" around, and this comprehensive volume is his best. Despite the fact that I am a layperson, and this book is nearly 1000 pages, I devoured it and longed for more. If you are not a lover of the sciences when you begin Asimov's Guide to Science, you will be when you finish! Anyone 12 years and older should read this book. It will change the way you look at the universe.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!...but dated... December 2, 2003
By A Customer
As a science teacher, I give this book my highest possible recommendation! It tells the stories behind the science: the men and women who made the important discoveries and how they did it. My only complaint is that the text is now 20 years old. I wish someone could recommend a more recent text--written with as wide a scope--that was more up-to-date.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last Renaissance man April 9, 2009
In addition to being a legendary science-fiction writer, Isaac Asimov is one of the most successful science popularizers of all time, and this book demonstrates why. In it, he delivers a comprehensive, well-organized, well-written survey of the known sciences as of the time of publication. But, since that time was over twenty years ago, is his book still worth reading today? Of course, it is! This is because Asimov takes a historical approach, first explaining the initial questions that puzzled observers of the natural world, then following the research of talented and brilliant scientists over the centuries that brought us to our present-day understanding. This lends much of the text the fascination of a mystery story, and gives the attentive reader a good basic grounding in the sciences.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Author July 21, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has just the kind of explanation that i wanted-- a lot of good detail, without getting too technical. The only problem is that as a small paperback covering a lot of ground, the print is very small and difficult to see (i am over 40).
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5.0 out of 5 stars One for the ages June 6, 2014
By C. L.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a kind of executive summary of the state of science as of 1984, and like most executive summaries, this one doesn’t require you to be a genius to understand it.

Although the book is meticulously organized into sections and has both name and subject indexes, believe it or not, the best way to read it is from cover to cover. There is actually a kind of narrative structure that underpins the whole thing. The difference between reading this book piecemeal and reading it in sequence is the difference between a pile of bricks and a house. Now granted, I don’t know whether Asimov built “the best of all possible houses” -- and it may be that someday someone will write a better science book -- but it’s certainly a very good house.

The book is divided into the physical sciences and the biological sciences, and the progression in one section mirrors that in the other. The physical sciences section goes from big to small -- from the universe as a whole to the stars, to the solar system, to the earth, and from there to progressively smaller matters: the elements, particles and energy. The biological sciences section goes from small to big -- from organic molecules to cells, to microorganisms, to the body, and then to the species, evolution and the human mind.

Ideas build one upon the other. So, for example, by the time Asimov introduces you to the periodic table in Chapter 6, you’re already familiar with X-rays because he discussed them in Chapter 2, when he was talking about radio astronomy. By the time he discusses the chemical structure of organic molecules in Chapter 11, you’re already an old hand when it comes to electron transfers because Asimov covered the idea thoroughly in Chapter 6.

There are any number of charming moments as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly unhappy
It was supposed to be almost new and I got it and it was tattered to all hell I'm not pleased
Published 7 months ago by N. Kovanda
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Better than most current books. Covers lots of interesting topics. Good reference for anyone with a taste for science for sure.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I Tutor Calculus-based Physics and I STILL Learn from this Book
Isaac Asimov wrote some of the clearest explanations of difficult subjects that I've ever encountered. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Michael Litzky
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish it had been in two volumes. A basic science book.
As complete an overview of science one could want. From basic astronomy to detail of he human body. Brief scientist bios add reality to a frequently surreal subject.
Published 11 months ago by Daniel N. Cote
4.0 out of 5 stars 4th edition, reprint of 1984 edition
I believe this has no updates from 1984 edition. Revised probably means from earlier editions or corrections of typos. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Charles E. Tomlinson
5.0 out of 5 stars best book ever for young people
this book opened my eyes to science when I was 19 yo, Isaac Asimov is a great storyteller and a fine scientist
Published 16 months ago by R. Olivo
4.0 out of 5 stars Old but fun
For anyone who is a fan of Asimov, this is a great insight into his perspective. While I wouldn't replace a Brian Greene non-fiction book with this, I would recommend that fans of... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Arthur W. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars How one scientist builds on the work of another
If you want to understand the natural sciences from the beginning to the mid 1970's, this is your book. It is all in here written in a style as appealing as any novel. Read more
Published 23 months ago by John Jennings
5.0 out of 5 stars asimov science
recd on time and i am enjoying this great book every nite. book is in very good shape as promised by seller. i have many books by mr. asimov and have read him for many years. Read more
Published on February 4, 2012 by BILL WALKER
5.0 out of 5 stars Asimov's New Guide to Science
The item arrived on time in condition just as described, it is a good experience. My teenager son is enjoying the book.
Published on October 31, 2011 by Angela
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