Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars High Praise for "Newton and the Counterfeiter", February 10, 2011
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This review is from: Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist (Kindle Edition)
The maximum rating is five stars here, but I wish I could give this excellent book six or even 10 stars. One of the most engrossing, fascinating reads I have enjoyed in some time, and I read a lot of books.

Many know Isaac Newton as the natural philosopher, the founder of modern science, the man who gave us the inverse square law of gravity, the author of the stunning Principia Mathematica and much more --but fewer people know that in his later years, Newton was a government bureaucrat, but not just any bureaucrat. He was the Warden and later Master of the British Mint, a powerful position because it put him at the center of very financial heart of the British Empire.

Part of his duties as warden of the mint was to be the top cop investigating crimes against the mint -- that meant mostly counterfeiting -- which was rife in London. This is what led the mighty Isaac Newton into a titanic struggle against one of London's most clever criminals, the coin counterfeiting genius William Chaloner.

This is such an incredible story that it almost seems a plot cooked up for a Hollywood thriller, except it happens to be 100% true. Isaac Newton takes on the role of a Sherlock Holmes style investigator as he tracks a relentless, desperate criminal, who despite being a peasant with no formal education, was smart enough to match wits with London's finest, and even Newton himself.

Author Thomas Levenson takes on what is naturally an extremely complex story with a lot of necessary background and presents it an effortless, lucid and seamless way, making for a book of history that reads almost like a great crime novel.

This book gets my highest praise and highest possible recommendation.
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Location: Minnesota

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,808