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Isaac Asimov's Guide to Earth and Space Mass Market Paperback – November 23, 1992


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (November 23, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449220591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449220597
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Asimov has now published at least 460 books and his list continues to grow. In this one, he tells us what scientists know today about the nature of the universe. He does so through 111 short (two- or three-page) chapters, each headed by a simple question: "What is sunlight?"; "What are stars?"; "How old is the universe?"; etc. The answers include historical background and current theory, presented in simple, easy-to-read terms. Although most of this is familiar ground to regular readers of scientific books and magazines, it is a fine introduction to modern astronomical theory for the intellectually curious high school student or intelligent but scientifically illiterate adult.
- Harold D. Shane, Baruch Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

A wide-ranging exploration of our universe -- from "what makes the wind blow?" to "how was the moon formed?" -- in questions-and-answer format, written in vintage Asimov style. "A fine introduction to modern astronomical theory." -- LIBRARY JOURNAL

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
65%
4 star
18%
3 star
18%
2 star
0%
1 star
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See all 17 customer reviews
I first read this book at about age 35.
Charles Wm Anderson @wordpress
Dr. Asimov's non-fiction is always informative and educational as well as being entertaining.
Gerald L. Wiles
Even the outdated books are great reads.
Mike

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Charles Wm Anderson @wordpress on July 1, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book at about age 35. Then lent it to my 66-year-old father. Just as was I unable, so, too, was he unable to put it down for more than a meditative moment to complicate Asimov's musings.
After Dad read it I loaned it to my older son, then aged 12. He had the same addiction as Dad and I.
The three of us are not prone to dwell on science, history, or anything of great consequence often, but we still frequently discuss topics first brought to our attention by probably the greatest, and certainly one of the most prolific and diverse writers in history.
I challenge any reader to not contemplate many of the thoughts expressed by Asimov in this fascinating and intriguing book.
Asimov and Hawking were probably the two most intelligent science writers of the 20th Century. Asimov alone, however, also was a skilled writer of history and fiction.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By bob on March 21, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Asimov's writing is in tip top form -- clear,straightforward, and with his sense of wit that is always present.

However, some of the questions are pretty elementary for most of his fans -- e.g., why does the moon go through phases, what is the future of our sun, what are tides...

Important questions, to be sure, but, not as engaging on his writings concerning the beginning of the universe, the atom, or measurements.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you've ever looked up in wonder at the stars in the night sky, or puzzled over the origins of the Earth, this is the book for you. A fabulous journey through centuries of scientific curiosity and discovery that left me wishing for more!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Katie D. Oros on November 5, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A lovely romp though the science of Earth and space. Great for people of all ages. While answering simplistic questions, Asimov brings much more complex ideas and thoughts to light. I must admit, when I began reading this, the material seemed old-hat, (the book is rather out-dated now) but Asimov had a way of explaining things as they were in the early 90's that keeps you from putting the book down. He not only writes what was happening (which so many current writers do) but adds in the little details of the who, when, how, why, and some times even a bit more.

Asimov links ideas through time and provides many "aha!" moments through out the book for readers. The science etymology alone (which is delightfully peppered through out this book) is reason to give this guide a read.

A little tip for readers:
Do check out NASA's website and image site upon reading this book. I found it very exciting to read about the science of the 90's and scientists' ideas of how things may be and then be able to jump forward in time to today and see what we've uncovered about the mysteries of the universe since! For a simple example, as of the writing of this book, extra-solar planets had not been detected, but Asimov wrote about the evidence pointing to their existence. Today we've uncovered MANY such planets. Very neat ^_^

Also, check out Carl Sagan's works. "Pale Blue Dot" is beautiful.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Show-Me Skeptic on December 8, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very well-written book, suitable for all ages. Asimov is an entertaining teacher of the basic facts about Earth and space (e.g., the Earth is round, it rotates about its own axis, it revolves around the Sun). But, what is even more important, he is a master at describing the thought processes of the various philosophers and scientists who established these facts in the face of traditional beliefs (e.g., the Earth is flat, it is unmoving, the Sun goes round the Earth).

It is thus a wonderful book for anyone who would like to learn how to determine the truth in this age of fundamentalism and conflicting claims posted on the Web and propagated by e-mails. The desire and the ability to think clearly and logically have always been rare commodities -- and have become even more uncommon today, even in technologically advanced communities such as the USA.

The book costs less than $7, which makes it a great stocking stuffer. But it is worth more than $70, or even $700.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the quick reference handbook for our universe, written in simple and concise language (only 252 pages). It should be required reading in high school. Everyone should possess this knowledge. Read this book and see the big picture.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike on March 11, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Asimov was prolific and I've read many of his sciencetainment books and they're all great. This one is no exception. Even the outdated books are great reads. This is the kind of book, and Asimov's others like it, that are great for filling up a young'uns library; or, if you haven't read them yourself, to put on your reading list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford on November 27, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Isaac Asimov assembles 111 of his short, non-fiction essays into a question-and-answer book that teaches us about the Earth and its neighborhood. These answers are accessible to older children as well as adults. They are written in Asimov's conversational style that makes science seem so straightforward. A warning label is appropriate to remind us that some of these answers no longer represent current thinking. But most have aged well.

My favorites include:

- How old is the Earth?
- Is the Earth hollow?
- Is there life on Mars?
- How fast does light travel?
- What is the Galaxy?
- Does anything reach us from the stars besides light?
- What is in interstellar dust clouds?

These short essays are a good reminder of the science we learned in middle school. And it's nice to hear the Good Doctor's voice again. Readers may also enjoy Asimov's Guide to the Bible and Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare.
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Isaac Asimov's Guide to Earth and Space
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