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The Sun Kings: The Unexpected Tragedy of Richard Carrington and the Tale of How Modern Astronomy Began Paperback – April 12, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is of particular interest to me because I'm an historian with a specialization in the history of technology and the author of "One Second After," a novel about the impact of an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) event. Up front I pray that "The Sun Kings" will get the recognition it deserves and wind up on the best seller list. EMP is not only a potential miitary threat, it is also a potential natural/environmental threat that could cripple our country.
It was not until after my novel was released in March 2009 that I heard of the "Carrington Event." A friend, having read "The Sun Kings" insisted I read it. Read it? I devoured the book in one sitting. Not only did it open my eyes to other aspects of EMP, I was compelled to turn page after page because of the author's brilliant, well written and even witty delivery. He is an exceptional author who truly brings a fascinating and all but unknown field of history alive. (His footnote on a 19th century test, using chickens to test the velocity of tornadoes is hysterical, even though those of us who lean towards PETA will cringe!)
If you are interested in the history of technology read this book. Astronomy, read this book. National security in the face of potential EMP scenarios, definitely read this book! I now recommend it to any who will listen.
I hope someday I can meet the author, it will be an honor to shake his hand. He is a great historian, he is also an author who through a fascinating tale raises an issue of deep concern to all of us. Another solar cycle is upon us (and please spare me any Mayan Prophecy foolishness!Read more ›
As is often the case in biographical sketches of a scientist's work, the story begins before Carrington's contributions and continues after he meets his tragic end in what be seen as a mid-life crisis gone horribly wrong. In this sense, while Carrington may seem like the subject of the book, the bigger theme is how humans came to understand anything at all about an object that could not be touched, sampled or controlled. In presenting this, Stuart does a good job of describing the science and the culture in which it took place without getting bogged down in the technicalities of the work. By presenting the material first with a pair of near catastrophic events, the author engages the reader and then holds on by revealing the events and personalities that shaped the work done. Gone is the sort of inevitable march towards knowledge approach that many simple treatments of scientific topics use.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a solid read. Clark uses the life of Richard Carrington to frame a wider exploration of solar astronomy in the 19th century. Read morePublished 13 months ago by P. Lanagan
Paid about 9 bucks including shipping. Worth the money. Everyone was raving on how good the book was written. It was fast reading most of the time.Published on February 21, 2014 by GRAHAM ROBERTS
Good book. Moved a little slow for me but was full of good information. I was surprised I just couldn't get into it.Published on January 10, 2014 by Amazon Customer
This is a well-researched, well-written book about the pioneers of solar astronomy. The author does an excellent job in humanizing the actors in this story.Published on October 9, 2013 by Douglas M. Keenan
Clark explores the history of modern astronomy and its study of the sun, building his tale around Richard Carrington, whose name has been applied to the event he documented, a... Read morePublished on September 17, 2013 by Wombat the Bookworm
The book arrived in perfect condition and in a timely fashion. Price was reasonable. An interesting historic account of sunspot activity that is not widely known (as far as I can... Read morePublished on August 29, 2013 by Brian Ingalls
Wonderful story about some of the history of astronomy, beautifully crafted, and beautifully written. I could not put this book down!Published on June 15, 2013 by Mistercrisp