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Women who use birth control pills probably care more about their effectiveness than about how they actually work, and although ignorance here may be bliss, it also cheats one of a good science story, involving a driven chemist making a serendipitous discovery about cortisone. Le Couteur and Burreson roll out 17 episodes selected for their salience in affecting health as well as history at large. This pair of chemists doesn't overinterpret a particular chemical as a historical influence but makes speculating on, say, piperene, a sporting diversion. Piperene is the molecule that causes taste buds to sting from pepper. Venice had a monopoly on the pepper trade, which rivals wished to break, motivating the voyages of discovery. Although connections frame the authors' tales (the title refers to tin buttons, which contributed to Napoleon's defeat in Russia), each story dwells on its molecular protagonist. The authors diagram the formula and shape of each, from the polymer behind the sheen in silk to the ionic bonds in the taste of salt. Well-conceived, well-done popular science. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Well-conceived, well-done popular science." ---Booklist --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Napoleon's Buttons is not a history of chemistry but rather the story of how chemistry influenced history. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Hans G. Schantz
As a Chemistry teacher I got this thinking it might be a way to get my students interested. It is a good book, interlaced with science, humor and history. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Evk
Fun book.......the chemistry was over my head, but I "caught on" to enough of it that the "concepts" added to the story.Published 15 days ago by Guy Otto
This book covers a lot history and a lot of science. People who are not familiar with basic and organic chemistry may find some of the topics difficult to get through. Read morePublished 23 days ago by K. Jedrzejczyk
This book was recommended by a teacher we met on a recent cruise vacation to the Baltic. We purchased it, as my husband is a retired chemistry professor. Read morePublished 1 month ago by research4u
Great book full of interesting anecdotes and imaginative lines of thought. Those familiar with bio/chemistry are sure to enjoy but I might hesitate to recommend to the laymen. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Frank
My fiance has not stopped reading this book since I ordered it for him.Published 2 months ago by Lolo999