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Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries Paperback – June 14, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (June 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400031761
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400031764
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,905,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“An enthralling read. . . . Informative and entertaining. . . . A delight.” –The Washington Post“Fascinating. . . . Plenty of intellectual enjoyment and reading pleasure.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel“Cutting-edge forensic evidence. . . . The story is carefully documented, and the science behind the men’s work is clearly laid out.” –Science News“Stunning. . . . A brilliant, readable, and original historical work that ought to convince readers that one of history’s greatest scientists committed a cold-blooded murder.” –National Review“A fascinating story, told simply and elegantly.” –The Washington Times“Compellingly interesting.” –The Weekly Standard“Like a historical CSI team, [the Gilders] make a very good case.” –BookPage“Crisply written. . . . Kepler himself would surely have loved the Gilders’ book.” –The Washington Post“Clearly prodigious research went into the writing of this book, and all the more merit goes to the Gilders for making such an important part of history so admirably accessible. If you have the slightest interest in how our civilization came into being, then Heavenly Intrigue is absolutely essential reading.” –Crisis Magazine“Sharp-eyed sleuthing. . . . [The authors’] remarkable detective work will win praise from mystery buffs and historians alike.” –Booklist“Compelling. . . . Well-written.” –Journal of the History of Astronomy

About the Author

Joshua Gilder has worked as a magazine editor, White House speechwriter, and State Department official and is the author, most recently, of the novel Ghost Image. Anne-Lee Gilder was formerly a producer and investigative reporter for German television. They live outside Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harvey Solomon on August 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Brahe and Kepler were giants, both in science and in character, and they deserve better than this book. There are some interesting factoids about Kepler's pathologic family, his strange relationship with his university and his well known struggle to obtain the observations of the orbit of Mars which were made by Brahe. Beyond that there is little if anything to recommend this book. The relationship between Tycho and Kepler is far better documented in the excellent book by Kitty Ferguson which is concerned with the facts and not the fiction. One star is more than this book merits.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C Miller on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
There is scant, if any, historical evidence justifying this sensationalism (murder). I'd recommend books by James Voelkel (his relatively brief "Johannes Kepler and the New Astronomy" or Kitty Ferguson's more expansive "Tycho and Kepler" over this. The story about how Tycho's excellent observational science and Kepler's analytical science -- and how they come together at a propitious time, when modern science is just being born -- is exciting enough. The struggle for how Kepler proposed his geometric model of the solar system and how he had was led to other conclusions based on dogged respect for data is a tale all science lovers may be attracted to. Skip the "Hollywood" and enjoy rather the real stuff.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Randy Cook on September 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book discusses the lives and relationship between two key figures in astronomy, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. Brahe was a nobelman who shrugged off political life to pursue his love of science and the stars. Kepler was a commoner who also studied the heavens and developed the laws of planetary motion. Kepler is portrayed as an insecure man looking for acceptance. The book also gives me the impression that Kepler did not like Brahe, while Brahe seems to be constantly helping Kepler and his family. Kepler is given a job by Brahe and Brahe also pays Kepler out of his own pocket, while his financial situation is being resolved. However, Kepler seems to go out of his way to fight with Brahe and look for a way to get out from under Brahe's control. Regardless of the help being given by Brahe.

The main point of the book is to lay the foundation and grounds for why someone would want to murder Brahe. Namely Kepler. I am not an expert in either astronomers' life, but I find the book too one sided. I would have to do more research to come to a conclusion, but for now my verdict is out. I have read a little that brings into question some of the findings from the tests performed on Brahe's hair.

I do not think the issue is as clear cut as the book tends to conclude. The book also doesn't clearly discuss the questions with the test results. The book was still enjoyable to read, but I believe more research is required to come to any conclusions.
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Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries
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