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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays Paperback – September 1, 1994

4.1 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 14 pieces, the author of A Brief History of Time examines astrophysics, current events and his own life.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Hawking is quite probably the most admired and recognizable figure in science today. His A Brief History of Time ( LJ 4/15/88) was a surprise best seller that stimulated a public fascination with this man who, although stricken with a debilitating neurological disease, is widely regarded as the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Einstein. This new collection of essays and lectures will no doubt attract a large readership, but it is somewhat unbalanced. The biographical pieces are digressive and not particularly enlightening. Most pointless is the concluding piece, an interview in which Hawking expounds upon the eight records he would want if he were shipwrecked on a desert island. The scientific essays are much stronger and offer insight into a variety of cutting-edge issues in contemporary physics, though much of what is presented can be found in Brief History. Readers interested in Hawking's life are better advised to read John Gribbin and Michael White's Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science ( LJ 5/1/92). Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/93.
- Gregg Sapp, Montana State Univ. Libs., Bozeman
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553374117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553374117
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a Cambridge professor who occupies the same chair as Isaac Newton once did, Stephen Hawking is probably the most well-known scientist in the world. His book A Brief History of Time has sold millions of copies, a rare feat for a work of theoretical physics. Hawking's perennial appeal is driven by his theoretical brilliance, his ability to explain difficult concepts to lay audiences, and his heroic, wheelchair-bound struggle with Lou Gehrig's disease.
To be sure, Hawking's reputation is not confined to popular acclaim. Other noted scientists, not known to be motivated by sympathy for Hawking's physical condition, have shown the greatest respect for Hawking's work. As Dr. Kip S. Thorne, a physics professor at CalTech, recently said in a New York Times article, "Stephen can see much farther and much more quickly what nature is likely to be doing than most of the rest of us poor mortals. Very few have his level of understanding and insight, or his ability to ask the right questions that trigger others to work on problems in ways they might never have thought of."
Hawking's book Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays continues his attempt to popularise the findings of cosmology and theoretical physics. The book is composed of one interview and 13 essays, most of which were originally given as lectures. Several of the essays are autobiographical. Hawking recounts, for example, his family history, his birth on the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death, his childhood fascination with electric trains, and his marriage and three children.
Of all the segments of the book, it is the interview that gives the most insight into Hawking's personality and tastes.
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Format: Paperback
I immensely enjoyed A Brief History of Time, and had high hopes for this book as well. Unfortunately I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it is a good book full of interesting things, but there is far too much repitition, both with A Brief History of Time and withing this book itself. It seemed that he explained his "the only boudary conditition is that there is no boundary" theory in every essay. Good material, but you won't find much in here that you didn't already know if you read A Brief History of Time. I would recommend skipping this and going straight to The Universe in a Nutshell, a more recent Hawking book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because the movie about Professor Hawking, THEORY OF EVERYTHING, has just been released. This book is away to get to know him better. In this book he shares his life's story and what lead him to start his writing career. This title is a must have if you want a fuller picture about one of the best writers concerning theoretical physics and cosmology today.
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Format: Paperback
An event horizon is the boundary of a black hole, defined by the light that can reach out that far and no further. Hawking himself sometimes uses pictorial metaphors to illustrate abstruse mathematical concepts, and this one occurred to me by way of an analogy of the brilliant illumination that I am trying to persuade to shine out far enough to reach my own dim wits hovering hopefully in the outer darkness.

The whole `feel' of Hawking's discourses reminds me of the stories I have read about Einstein at work - placid, orderly and without excitement (or should I say `perturbation'?). Genius of this kind seems to be a kind of glorified knack - such minds just operate naturally with concepts of this kind, and there is no sense of effort or struggle. Sandwiched between some biographical material and a radio interview, the main material in this book is a collection of essays and lectures. They include Hawking's inaugural lecture at Cambridge where he occupies the chair of mathematics once held by Newton, and all are intended in the first place for an audience of his peers. On the other hand, where Newton and Einstein did not try to address the general public, Hawking, like Russell, seeks to do just that, and he does it superbly. The style of writing is both literate and unpretentious, and the occasional jokes are very good. Readers who, like myself, are intensely interested in the subject-matter but entirely lacking in natural aptitude for it, ought to find this book enormously helpful. There is a certain amount of repetition inevitably, but the more of that the better so far as I'm concerned. Any amateur trying to get a handle on mathematical concepts like these has to get into a mathematician's way of thinking as best he can and stop thinking as a layman.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While it's amazing Dr. Hawking can even write a book, this work doesn't not compare with earlier ventures, like the History of Time. Still a decent read but a bit overpriced for its brevity. Many sections are repetitive, as chapters were assembled from prior writings. Still many concepts were new to me and are explained only as this great author could with his expressive talents.
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I got it after I read A Brief History of Time. This book is a collection of essays and speeches that professor Hawking have given over the years. I feel like it lacks of continuity throughout the book while same concepts are being explained again and again in the same way. I thought it would be a book which professor Hawking would talk about the black holes and baby universe in a way that is similar to that in A Brief History of Time, but it's not really the case. The first few chapters are about Hawking's educational backgrounds and about what he's been doing. In latter chapters it does includes black holes and baby universe chapters. I actually skipped the first few chapters and just read the latters. I would rather call this book ' The other essay and black holes and baby universes' is the chronological order of the book stays the same, or I would move the first few chapters to be a latter part of the book or even publishing a new book about Hawking's backgrounds. I just don't like the way they combine those essays and speeches into one book and call it a 'book'.
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