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Galileo: Heretic Paperback – September 21, 1989


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Editorial Reviews

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"Mr. Redondi's story is brilliantly told. . . . The captivating style, the masterly reconstruction of plots and passions, the ability to vividly paint princes and popes, cardinals and philosophers, heretics and scientists, will no doubt guarantee the success of this book with students and the general public."--Pietro Corsi, The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (September 21, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069102426X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691024264
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Benedikt Berninger on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I love this book. It reads like a criminalistic story, with ever surprising twists. It gives the reader a very vivid image of a time when Jesuit doctrine and Galileo's thinking clashed. It destroys the image of Galileo the scientist who only trusts in experimental observation. Further, it shows that the reaction towards Galileo was quite split among Catholics. And that Galileo's contrahents weren't mere fools. Basically, it seems Pietro Redondi draws from real life not from ideology. However, the main conclusion of the book that Galileo wasn't condamned because of his adherence to Copernican ideas but because of his atomism, that was in sharp contrast to the Jesuit interpretation of the transsubstantiation, seems so surprising to me that I still doubt about its correctness.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By lauerj@who.int on March 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
The author's main thesis is that Galileo famous trial did not take place because he promoted a heliocentric view of the universe, but because he promoted a non-Aristotelian theory of physics at variance with the Church's doctrine of transubstantiation.
Anyone who wants to read a heroic account of the victory of the forces of knowledge and experimental science (i.e. personified by Galileo) over those of ignorance (i.e. biblically inspired geocentricism) had better look elsewhere. On the other hand, anyone who wants to read a far more interesting (and believable) story which reveals much more about both religion and science than does the traditional Galilean myth will find this book fascinating.
All those who read "The Name of the Rose" and "Foucault's Pendulum" are also advised to read this (especially if they found Eco a bit weak on historical background from time to time).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 1996
Format: Paperback
The author has been most thorough in research and devotes great detail and attention to our understanding of the thought, political, social and religious forces of that milieu. The story of Galileo's trial and imprisonment is engaging.
The book is easily put aside. Hundreds of figures over centuries who contributed to the events culminating in the trial enter and leave the pages of the book as players on the stage of a drama. The players, both important and relatively minor, do not play their parts in chronological order in this book. It is difficult to find a thread of thought or story which holds one's attention. In the end, the final events causing the trial of Galileo are not complex or lengthy. The actual causes and culmination of the trial are few and easily conveyed. The book does give the reader a thorough knowledge of a vast, detailed, historical setting for the drama.
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