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The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors Paperback – August 10, 2004
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“Essential reading...tells the story of science as a sequence of witty, information-packed tales...complete with humanizing asides, glimpses of the scientist’s personal life and amusing anecdotes.”
—London Sunday Times, Books of the Year
“Excels at making complex science intelligible to the general reader...If you’re looking for a book that captures the personal drama and achievement of science, then look no further.”—The Guardian
“Gripping and entertaining...wonderfully and pleasurably accessible... Much of the history of science reads like a detective story, which in the hands of a skilled narrator like Gribbin makes the description of each new advance appear as an illumination.”—The Independent on Sunday
“Tremendous...moves me to bestow a reviewer’s cliché I long ago vowed never to use: a tour de force.”
“A splendid book...exposes the factual roots of some of science’s well-known tales (for example, Galileo never dropped weights of different sizes from Pisa’s leaning tower).”—The Economist
“A magnificent history...enormously entertaining.”—The Daily Telegraph
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Inside Flap
In this ambitious new book, John Gribbin tells the stories of the people who have made science, and of the times in which they lived and worked. He begins with Copernicus, during the Renaissance, when science replaced mysticism as a means of explaining the workings of the world, and he continues through the centuries, creating an unbroken genealogy of not only the greatest but also the more obscure names of Western science, a dot-to-dot line linking amateur to genius, and accidental discovery to brilliant deduction.
By focusing on the scientists themselves, Gribbin has written an anecdotal narrative enlivened with stories of personal drama, success and failure. A bestselling science writer with an international reputation, Gribbin is among the few authors who could even attempt a work of this magnitude. Praised as "a sequence of witty, information-packed tales" and "a terriﬁ c read" by The Times upon its recent British publication, The Scientists breathes new life into such venerable icons as Galileo, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Linus Pauling, as well as lesser lights whose stories have been undeservedly neglected. Filled with pioneers, visionaries, eccentrics and madmen, this is the history of science as it has never been told before.
"From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
If you expect this book to describe the thinking of these intellectual forefathers and -mothers of ours; to sort through their theories and how they arrived at them; to paint a big picture of the history of science that enables you to see the overarching themes and trends -- then this book, sadly, will be a disappointment.
There is no doubt that Gribbin has written a tale that is grand in scope, expansive in nature, and overall exciting, enthralling and even downright juicy (who would have thought that the lives of natural philosophers and scientists were filled with such scandal and self-indulgence?). However, one should approach this book with the knowledge that it is more about quirks than quarks, more about natural passions than natural laws, and more about the history of scientific personalities than the history of scientific thought.
I am a science teacher and will be using this in class.
This is not a dull science book. It has no formulas or math except to explain scientific laws as simply as possible. Neither is it a "science for dummies" either. Instead, this book is best read by the fireside. It is top quality literature which is insightful and deep while retaining the human element all the way through. Given its inexpensive price, this book is a winner all around.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves stories. I would especially recommend this book for anyone interested in the history of scientific ideas and the people who advanced them. This book is also useful material for college courses in science, history or literature.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fascinating and unputdownable book, and beautifully written as well. A marvellous read!Published 1 month ago by Joseph Doniach
Great for inventors and science enthusiasts everywhere. Lots of good information.Published 5 months ago by Someone you don't know
Too detailed and dense for me.... or I'm too dense. Unfortunately I'm losing my ability to follow lines of thought and consequently am reading less and less. Alzheimer's?Published 8 months ago by DM
Why Gribbin bombardments us with ridiculously useless facts is unknown. It is like he is a student adding filler to achieve a required word count. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mark Wilson
This is a fascinating ad delightful book. Getting the science in perspective is great, and I also treasure the opportunity to learn about the highly varied lives of the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ingrid Asmus