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Asimov's New Guide to Science Hardcover – October 1, 1984

ISBN-13: 978-0465004737 ISBN-10: 0465004733 Edition: Rev Sub

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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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: #287,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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Customer Reviews

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I'd love to read an edition updated for 2013.
Michael Litzky
It is all in here written in a style as appealing as any novel.
John Jennings
As complete an overview of science one could want.
Daniel N. Cote

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By Munier Parker on April 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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 By A Customer on November 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
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 By A Customer on December 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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 By David Bonesteel on April 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By Terranova on 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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By C. L. on June 6, 2014
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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