Kindle Price: $10.99

Save $6.00 (35%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"

Length: 416 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Audible Narration
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $4.49 when you buy the Kindle book.
Audible Narration: Ready
Matchbook Price: $2.99 What's this?
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

For this narrative of the seventeenth century’s scientific revolution, Dolnick embeds the mathematical discoveries of Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and Leibniz in the prevailing outlook of their time. God was presumed integral to the universe, so discerning how it worked was a quest as theological as it was intellectual. By directing readers to the deistic drive in their famous achievements, Dolnick accents what otherwise strikes moderns as strange, such as Newton’s obsession with alchemy and biblical hermeneutics. Those pursuits held codes to God’s mind, as did motion and, especially, planetary motion, and Dolnick’s substance follows the greats’ progress in code-breaking, depicting Kepler’s mathematical thought process in devising his laws, Galileo’s in breaking out the vectors of falling objects, Newton’s and Leibniz’s in inventing calculus, and Newton’s in formulating his laws of gravitation. Including apt biographical detail, Dolnick humanizes the group, socializes them by means of their connections to such coevals as the members of the nascent Royal Society, and captures their mental coexistence in mysticism and rationality. A concise explainer, Dolnick furnishes a fine survey introduction to a fertile field of scientific biography and history. --Gilbert Taylor


“Edward Dolnick’s smoothly written history of the scientific revolution tells the stories of the key players and events that transformed society.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 9581 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (February 8, 2011)
  • Publication Date: February 8, 2011
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GB1TTA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,865 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Science and religion are often at odds in today's highly polarized and contentious world, each sneeringly scornful and antagonistic toward the other. Yet that relationship was very different when some of the greatest leaps of scientific understanding occurred. Edward Dolnick gives us excellent and readable biographical profiles of the greats like Galileo and Kepler, Leibniz and Newton as well others who were instrumental in the birth of modern science. He says "Newton's intent in all his work was to make men more pious and devout, more reverent in the face of God's creation. His aim was not that men rise to their feet in freedom but that they fall to their knees in awe." (pg 308)

But this book is about much more than just the religious thoughts of some of history's greatest thinkers. It also profiles the world they lived in, from the superstitions and diseases the people faced to the unsanitary conditions that produced such maladies (and pity those who had access to the doctors!). And it humanizes them (most were pretty ill-tempered) even though they had talents we can only dream of. It also seeks to convey - in layman's terms - a basic understanding of the principles and truths discovered by these geniuses, and why they were so earth-changing.

I read a significant amount of history and you get used to a certain format when opening a book, a format that conveys a certain seriousness. So I was surprised (and even a little disappointed, too) when I saw the larger and heavier font more typical of pulp fiction. But in spite of that it's a very interesting read, particularly for those of us who aren't as familiar with the history of these men or their discoveries.
Read more ›
4 Comments 73 of 77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
God was a mathematician. He designed the world in cosmic codes that only a few men have been able to solve in pieces. Brood over that for a while and then be ready to start a reading adventure with this well-written book.

The year is young and already I have found a book I'd rate as "Best General History book of 2011." This book is that good. Edward Dolnick, who himself is an amateur theoretical mathematician, has a great story to tell that is backed up with documented evidence and a plethora of research. He knows his stuff. He's also an excellent, engaging writer who makes this story of 17th-century scientific geniuses an interesting read. The great part is that you don't have to be a mathematician yourself to enjoy such an entertaining, interesting story, but you may wish you were.

Dolnick takes London of 1665, its stinking, filthy, fecal-infested city streets and turns these rather rancid images into an engrossing story of how Isaac Newton, an ill-tempered and vain man who left Cambridge during a plague outbreak to hide out on his mother's farm, as the setting of this book. Newton, however, wasn't the only one interested in celestial beings or the concept of gravity, motion and speed. There were others in Europe adept at critical thinking who formed what became the Royal Society. The almighty church, however, branded anyone who questioned God's universe as a heretic. Many gifted scientists were killed, others went into hiding. Only the lucky few were able to make themselves heard and live to write about it; Galileo himself died while under house arrest. Thank God for those courageous men or else Dolnick wouldn't have such a fascinating story to tell.

The book is divided into three parts, each focused on a separate theme.
Read more ›
Comment 64 of 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The year 1660 was a turning point in British political, cultural and intellectual life. The restoration of King Charles II, after eleven brutal years of military dictatorship, awoke a new spirit of vibrancy and optimism in Britain. And one of the earliest yet most enduring results of the new era was the formation of the Royal Society.

It was a heady time and there are heady tales to be told of it, both in history and in fiction. Among the most successful of the latter are Neal Stephenson's three-volume Baroque Cycle, and one suspects that it is their readership whom Edward Dolnick may have had had in mind when writing "The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern Universe".

Dolnick's writing style is immediately engaging; he is good-humoured, possessed of a dry wit and a pleasing turn of phrase. In his presentation of mathematical and scientific ideas, he takes great pains to render them clear to an audience not only of non-specialists but of complete novices. He writes of science like one of those inspirational teachers who can make these things make sense to the least scientific of students.

The book is structured in three parts. The first sets the historical scene of 1660s London - the Restoration, the plague of 1665, the Great Fire, the early work of the Royal Society. Part Two discusses the work of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo and even the ancient Greeks, to provide the scientific context for Newton's discoveries. Part Three focuses on Newton himself, his discoveries in the fields of mathematics, physics and astronomy, and his long-running feud with Leibnitz over the "invention" (sic) of calculus. (Surely mathematical laws are discovered, not invented?
Read more ›
3 Comments 87 of 100 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in