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The Earth Moves: Galileo and the Roman Inquisition (Great Discoveries) Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 26, 2009
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The book does get around to covering the Roman Inquisition, the details of which are partly supplied by extant records and the balance of which is conjecture (clearly identified as suppositional by the author), and the book provides a good explanation of how and why Galileo came into conflict with the Church. And to be fair, I did enjoy much of the extraneous material.
This is not the typical history of science book. Nor is it a typical history book. If what you're looking for is a concise history of the Galileo and the Roman Inquisition, you may be disappointed. If you're willing to go off on side trips into the art and scientific culture of the times, you should find this book valuable.
The first two-thirds of the book deals with Galileo, his work with the telescope and Maffeo Barberni (Pope Urban VIII). The biographical material concerning Galileo is very fragmentary and incomplete. If this is your only source of information about Galileo you would hard pressed to understand why he is often spoken of as the father of physics and he laid the groundwork for Newton. His telescopic investigations are interesting, but are presented in a more coherent manner in many other books (I recommend Galileo's Universe by Maran and Marschall as a much better source for this information).Read more ›