- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 31, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143111345
- ISBN-13: 978-0143111344
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 79 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars Reprint Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Named one of the best books of the month by Flavorwire, Bustle, Harper’s Bazaar, Real Simple, Refinery29, Men’s Journal, BBC, and The National Book Review
“Ms. Sobel writes with an eye for a telling detail and an ear for an elegant turn of phrase. . . . [The Glass Universe is] a joy to read.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Sobel lucidly captures the intricate, interdependent constellation of people it took to unlock mysteries of the stars . . . The Glass Universe positively glows.” —NPR
“An elegant historical tale…[from] the master storyteller of astronomy.” –The Boston Globe
"Sobel mixes discussions of the most abstruse topics with telling glimpses of her subjects’ lives, in the process showing how scientific and social progress often go hand in hand." –The New Yorker
"A peerless intellectual biography. The Glass Universe shines and twinkles as brightly as the stars themselves. –The Economist
“At once an exhaustive and detailed account of a breakthrough moment in the world of science, as well as a compelling portrait of pioneering women who contributed as much to the progress of female empowerment as they did to the global understanding of both astronomy and photography.” —Harper’s Bazaar
"[Sobel] traces a remarkable line in American female achievement…[and] captures the stalwart spirit of Pickering’s female finds." —USA Today
“Sobel has distinguished herself with lucid books about scientists and their discoveries . . . [She] vividly captures how her brilliant and ambitious protagonists charted the skies, and found personal fulfillment in triumphant discovery.” —The National Book Review
“A fascinating and inspiring tale of . . . female pioneers who have been shamefully overlooked.” —Real Simple
"Sobel shines a light on seven 19th- and 20th-century women astronomers who began as 'human computers,' interpreting data at Harvard Observatory, then went on to dazzle...An inspiring look at celestial pioneers." —People
"An astronomically large topic generously explored." —O, The Oprah Magazine
"It takes a talented writer to interweave professional achievement with personal insight. By the time I finished The Glass Universe, Dava Sobel's wonderful, meticulous account, it had moved me to tears...Unforgettable." —Sue Nelson, Nature
"A compelling read and a welcome reminder that American women have long desired to reach for the stars.” —Bookpage
"Sensitive, exacting, and lit with the wonder of discovery." —Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction
"This is intellectual history at its finest. Dava Sobel is extraordinarily accomplished at uncovering the hidden stories of science." —Geraldine Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Chord and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March
“[Sobel] soars higher than ever before...[continuing] her streak of luminous science writing with this fascinating, witty, and most elegant history...The Glass Universe is a feast for those eager to absorb forgotten stories of resolute American women who expanded human knowledge." —Booklist, Starred Review
"Sobel knows how to tell an engaging story...With grace, clarity, and a flair for characterization, [she] places these early women astronomers in the wider historical context of their field for the very first time." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Praise for The Planets
"[The Planets] lets us fall in love with the heavens all over again." —The New York Times Book Review
"[Sobel] has outdone her extraordinary talent for keeping readers enthralled. . . . A splendid and enticing book." —San Francisco Chronicle
"An incantatory serenade to the Solar System." —Entertainment Weekly
Praise for Galileo's Daughter
"Sobel is a master storyteller. . . . She brings a great scientist to life." —The New York Times Book Review
Praise for Longitude
"This is a gem of a book." —The New York Times
"A simple tale, brilliantly told." —The Washington Post
Praise for A More Perfect Heaven
"Ms. Sobel is an elegant stylist, a riveting and efficient storyteller, a writer who can bring the dustiest of subjects to full-blooded life." —The New York Times
"Lively, inventive . . . a masterly specimen of close-range cultural history."—The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
DAVA SOBEL is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestsellers Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, The Planets, and The Glass Universe. A former New York Times science reporter and longtime contributor to The New Yorker, Audubon, Discover, and Harvard Magazine, she is the recipient of the National Science Board’s Individual Public Service Award and the Boston Museum of Science’s Bradford Washburn Award, among others.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Because so many women participated in the development of a new understanding of the cosmos, there are a tremendous number of characters in The Glass Universe. Repeatedly while reading, I kept wishing that there was a character listing at the front of the book to help me keep track of them all. When I finished the book, I was happy to ascertain that Sovel had compiled a lengthy Catalogue of Harvard Astronomers, Assistants, and Associates at the end of the book. While it was helpful to peruse this after finishing The Glass Universe, I feel it would have been more useful at the front of the book instead of after I was finished reading. At the end of the book, Sobel also includes a timeline with the highlights of the Harvard College Observatory which places many of the developments and discoveries into a coherent, satisfying format.
Sobel’s story is uplifting, and I loved reading about the recognition these women received at a time when women working was highly uncommon. Not only did their fellow workers at Harvard Observatory acknowledge the success and importance of these individuals, but astronomers worldwide respected and recognized the contributions made by them. I highly recommend The Glass Universe. Thanks to Viking Books and NetGalley for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Dava Sobel's new book widely covers the contributions and lives of the women of the
observatory during the directorships of Edward C. Pickering and Harlow Shapley, while
not neglecting their male contemporaries. Between the 1880s and 1910s, Harvard College
Observatory under Pickering arguably contributed more to the advance of astronomy than any
other single institution. By 1920 the telescopes of HCO began to be dwarfed by new large instruments
at other institutions, but under Shapley HCO remained at the forefront of astronomical research
and education in many areas. During these years, Henrietta Leavitt discovered the Cepheid period-luminosity
relation that would be vital to determining the distances to other galaxies, Annie Jump Cannon studied the spectra
of hundreds of thousands of stars, and Cecilia Payne pioneered methods for determining the chemical
composition of the stars. These and other stories are followed in Sobel's fascinating work.
Sobel also writes of the lives and motivations of the wealthy sponsors of the observatory's
research, including scientifically minded women such as Anna Palmer Draper and Catherine Wolfe
Bruce. Considering the breadth of the book, I noticed remarkably few errors, and I strongly
recommend its story of the people of HCO and their science.
Most recent customer reviews
Sobel's usual style and substance combination: educational and delightfully written.