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1. Science: A History: 1534-2001
2. A People's History of Science:
3. The Beginnings of Western Science:
4. Science and Technology in World
5. The Scientists: A History of Science
6. A History of the Warfare of Science
7. A History of Science in Society:
8. Islam, Science, and the Challenge
9. The Secret History of Science
10. Telling Stories: The Use of Personal
11. Making Modern Science: A Historical
12. Worldviews: An Introduction to
13. Science & Islam: A History
14. History: Fiction or Science? Dating
15. The History of Science Fiction
16. Ancient Science: 40 Time-Traveling,
17. The History of Time: A Very Short
18. Replications: A Robotic History
19. A History of Science in Society:
20. Teaching the Social Sciences and

1. Science: A History: 1534-2001
by John Gribbin
Paperback: 672 Pages (2003-08-07)
list price: US$20.65 -- used & new: US$12.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140297413
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In this book, John Gribbin tells the story of the people who made science and the turbulent times they lived in. As well as famous figures such as Copernicus, Darwin and Einstein, there are also the obscure, the eccentric, even the mad. This diverse cast includes, among others, Andreas Vesalius, landmark 16th-century anatomist and secret grave-robber; the flamboyant Galileo, accused of heresy for his ideas; the obsessive, competitive Newton, who wrote his rivals out of the history books; Gregor Mendel, the Moravian monk who founded modern genetics; and Louis Agassiz, so determined to prove the existence of ice ages that he marched his colleagues up a mountain to show them the evidence. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great overview of 500 years sciences
A nice book on the history of 500 years science. Interesting to read both the stories of the known and the less known stars. Very insightful the illustration that developments happen when "the time is right", often by several people or groups around the same time. A nice read, highly recommended.

The only small negative is the amount of typos, probably due to the process of digitalization. The amount of mistakes is irritating, and I strongly suggest that this flaw is corrected.

But all in all: A!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent biographical approach to the history of science
John Gribbon ranks among the best science writers for laymen, and this book once again reflects his ability to keep concepts accessable to non-specialists while still retaining the essential information about the scientific concepts being discussed.This books gives a detailed history of the developments of science from Copernicus to the present, focusing on biographical background as a means of aquiring a greater understanding of what was happening as the developments were unfolding.While this may sound like he might neglect science to focus on individuals, he actually does a very good job of avoiding useless information about people, and his biographical information about each scientist really does help one understand how science was developing.There are a few cases where he goes into a bit more biography than in really necessary, but when he does it is about people who were so interesting that I really wish he would have done it more often. As far as general histories of science go, this is the best I have encountered, though I wish he would have done a complete history instead of starting in the 16th century.

The main point of his book, outside of simply being a history of science, is to argue for an "evolutionary" view of the development of science, meaning that science moves forward in a progressive, step-by-step manner rather than by sudden revolutions as Thomas Kuhn taught.The view that science advances by revolution rather than by evolution is very influential, especially among sociologists and non-scientists.Gribbon wished to show that this is not the view among actual scientists, and that the quantum revolution was really the only case of a "revulotion" in science.He explains other advancements in science (like Newton's theory of gravity) as building upon past advancements, not as a radical revolution.I myself am rather inclined to agree with both Gribbon and Kuhn.It seems that the advancements themselves come by evolution (so Gribbon is correct), but the general acceptance of the advancement within the scientific community usually comes in the more revolutionary method (i.e. a sudden shift in thinking in the scientific community as a whole), something which Gribbon often fails to acknowledge.

As a whole, this is really a very, very good book.However, there are a few things I wish Gribbon had done differently.First, he really should have included more illustrations for difficult concepts.When he starts discussing some modern scientific discoveries, they are really quite confusing to someone who has not read about them before, and an illustration showing what he meant would have been extremely helpful (especially in the biochemistry and atomic physics sections).I imagine that they were not included to save space, as it is already a very long book.However, in the first half of the book he has a good number of full page pictures of both scientists (which is fine) and, for some reason, the first page of many of their books (which is not very useful, especially since they are in foreign languages).He should have used the space taken up by all the pictures of the first pages of the major scientific books and used those pages for illustrations of confusing concepts later in the book.

He also seems to have inexplicably passed over some fairly major scientists while including some fairly minor scientists.The most notable absentee is Nicola Tesla, whose name is never even mentioned in the book.I realize that Tesla is known mostly as an inventor, but he really did quite a bit with Alternate Current, radio, and electricity in general.Further, one of Gribbon's major themes in the book is the interconnectedness of science and technology, arguing that science leads to advancements in technology, which allow for further scientific advancements, and so on.I fail to understand why he included so many inventors from the Industrial Revolution yet failed to include Tesla, whose inventions and scientific discoveries were important to science in the early 20th century.Of course, in a book that covers the entire history of science in the last 500 years in only 700 pages, it is inevitable that some people will be left out.I only wish he had made better choices about which ones to leave out, especially since someone like Tesla would have been very fun for someone taking a biographical approach to discuss (given his extreme eccentricity).

In conclusion, this is the best history of the last 500 years in science that I know of.The biographical approach makes it much more interesting, and Gribbon writes in a way that is very accessable to laymen.The few flaws in the book are far outweighed by its strengths, making this THE book I would recommend to anyone interested in the history of science since Copernicus.

Overall grade: A+ ... Read more

2. A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and Low Mechanicks (Nation Books)
by Clifford D. Conner
Paperback: 568 Pages (2005-11-08)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$7.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560257482
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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We all know the history of science that we learned from grade school textbooks: How Galileo used his telescope to show that the earth was not the center of the universe; how Newton divined gravity from the falling apple; how Einstein unlocked the mysteries of time and space with a simple equation. This history is made up of long periods of ignorance and confusion, punctuated once an age by a brilliant thinker who puts it all together. These few tower over the ordinary mass of people, and in the traditional account, it is to them that we owe science in its entirety.

This belief is wrong. A People's History of Science shows how ordinary people participate in creating science and have done so throughout history. It documents how the development of science has affected ordinary people, and how ordinary people perceived that development. It would be wrong to claim that the formulation of quantum theory or the structure of DNA can be credited directly to artisans or peasants, but if modern science is likened to a skyscraper, then those twentieth-century triumphs are the sophisticated filigrees at its pinnacle that are supported by the massive foundation created by the rest of us. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

1-0 out of 5 stars Ignorant and self-contradictory
This book purports to simultaneously correct the mainstream history of science, highlighting the contribution of unlettered craftsmen, sailors, folk healers and non-Westerners to its development, and criticize science for being subservient to the interests of the ruling classes and complicit in their crimes. There is an inherent contradiction between these goals, which Conner does not notice. If medicine is forever tainted by the infection of Chinese and Allied POWs with lethal bacteria done by the Japanese doctors, then who cares if folk healers contributed to its development? If labor-saving devices saved the employers' labor expenses rather than the employees' labor, who cares if they were invented by illiterate mechanics?

Conner does not seem to know mathematics, given that he does not understand the difference between Babylonian and Egyptian mathematics and Greek mathematics, claiming that the "Greek miracle" is an artifact of racist scholars who did not want to give due credit to non-"Aryan" peoples. Nor does he seem to know medicine, given that he praises homeopathy and hydropathy, which challenged medical orthodoxy, which in turn dismissed them as unscientific. He also criticizes the French academicians who dismissed Mesmerism as a fraud, and notes that psychoanalysts trace modern psychotherapy back to Mesmer. What does this guy know? An Internet search shows that he is a dilettante. Or is it elitist of me to label him as such, as the doctors were elitist to dismiss the folk healers?

5-0 out of 5 stars A People's History of Science
Excellent read.Eye opening and revealing literature. Much research and thought was put into this account.Easy for the everyday man to the highly educated to comprehend and enjoy.

1-0 out of 5 stars Ideologically biased, a lot of cherry-picking, and inaccurate
I am not sure whether the author writes history or he is "cherry-picking" to justify his own ideology. The book is definitely BIASED and contains many things that inaccurate or incorrect.

I will focus basically on Chapter 3, entitled "What Greek Miracle?".

Regarding mathematics, of course the Greeks came into contact, were influenced, etc, by the Egyptians, Babylonians, etc, (as many ancient Greeks reported), but that's not the point. The point, which Conner deliberately or by ignorance is missing, is that the Greeks (first) saw the need to introduce the notion of PROOF (and rigor in general) in mathematics, perhaps due to the socio-political (and religious) dynamics of their time, and that's what we mean when we say that they founded contemporary mathematics. The Pythagorean Theorem was well known to the Babylonians, true, but the proof of it was NOT. The need to provide a rigorous argument for such property of a right-angle triangle begins with the Greeks, and not with the Babylonians, unless Conner has any evidence to the contrary which he does NOT.

The author also tends to identify Plato's insistence on geometry with Greek mathematics. Geometry was not ALL Greek mathematics. Even in Euclid's "Elements" we have several Chapters on Number Theory, but Conner conveniently doesn't mention that. Conner also downplays the practical mathematics that Archimedes engaged into, and completely omits the immense contributions of Diophantus in algebra and arithmetic, just so give weight to his silly argument that "geometry was for the elite, arithmetic was for the poor, therefore the Greeks and the rest of the scientist until today, who relied on Greeks, had one thing in mind: to distort history, and keep poor and non-whites down".

Regarding Aristotle (and science in general), to say that "he didn't giveus anything new, other than what the farmers, fishermen, etc, knew already", betrays a lack of knowledge of Aristotle's work or/and misses the point on what we mean by science altogether. Just as in Math above, true, maybe the fishermen knew much of what Aristotle said, that's not the point. The point is that he gave us the METHOD (observation-
hypothesis-experiment, verification etc). That's what we mean by when we call him the "father of modern science". He was also "hands-on", unlike Plato, cutting open dead animals to study their anatomy, etc, and in hisemphasis on experience is justified in several chapters in his "The Parts of Animals".

The same mistakes Conner does on the subject of medicine. The separation of religion, superstition, etc, from medicine, was THE important contribution of the Greeks (Hippocrates) to the world. The rest, come later.

Conner wants to dismiss or undermine major contributions done by ancient Greek scientists, just because they might had been rich, noble, upper-class, etc, or because their contributions did not result to directly and immediately improving poor peoples lives. Why should one's scientific contributions be rated in view of his class, personality, etc?
Should we also dismiss the whole body of Theoretical Physics, because it
doesn't directly give something useful to ordinary engineers, mechanics, carpenters, etc? Also, Conner's claim that Greek science (whatever they didn't "steal" from Africans) was overall damaging to the world, since taken for granted and unquestioned (that science) the Middle Ages scientists did not improve upon it, at least it could be characterized as a joke. It is certainly not the Greeks fault that religious blindness, oppression, and misery in the Dark Ages did not allow scientists to improve upon the ideas of Greek scientists (who, of course, they were not perfect).

Now, of course, the saddest thing in this book is that for Conner to justify his pretty much unjustifiable claims regarding the unoriginal, useless, etc, of Greek science, he ends up relying on unhistorical, unscientific, totally DEBUNKED, and ridiculous references like M. Bernal's "Black Athena". Considering his otherwise good references, his relying on Bernal's book to justify his claims against the Greeks (which most scholars reject), was an unfortunate event.

This book should not be thought as comparable to "A People's History of the US", by H. Zinn, an otherwise very good book. The title might mislead one to think that just because the latter was good, that the former is as good too. It is not the case. Also, they examine different things: one examines the history of a 200 year old country, where the other examines a 2000 year old (or more) activity. Justifiably, though, concerns could be raised on Zinn's position (if not on his book above) as he is the only commentator of Conner's book (on the back cover), claiming that is actually a good book.

Nevertheless, ignoring its un-historicity and bias, it is a well written book. I would recommend it ONLY to critical and careful readers.

Dr. Michael Aristidou

3-0 out of 5 stars Long, but interesting.
This book is long, perhaps unnecessarily so, and at times I was skeptical of the organizational strategy.That said, Conner makes some important points.Considering the heavy impact of science on social policy, it is critical that science be accessible to the masses and that the general public have a say in the direction and priorities of scientific research.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read
An absolutely stunning history of science from hunter-gatherers to office workers. In the great tradition of popular history, Mr. Connor argues that it was the common people, not the elites, who have been the developing force behind a great portion of science. Taking the view that the deed comes before the word (in biblical terms), Mr. Connor shows that it was the DIY spirit common to all people low and high that explains much of the technological development, whilst scientific methods arose from people's daily experience of trying to make a living.

In contradiction to the bollocks in our history and science books, science is not just the realm of elite Heroes of Science but is the empirical experiences of working people grappling with the worlds. Empirical trial-by-error experience comes before theoretical pondering, no matter what our ivory tower intellectual elite may like us to believe.

Again, great book. Buy it! ... Read more

3. The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, Prehistory to A.D. 1450
by David C. Lindberg
Paperback: 480 Pages (2008-04-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$15.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226482057
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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When it was first published in 1992, The Beginnings of Western Science was lauded as the first successful attempt ever to present a unified account of both ancient and medieval science in a single volume. Chronicling the development of scientific ideas, practices, and institutions from pre-Socratic Greek philosophy to late-Medieval scholasticism, David C. Lindberg surveyed all the most important themes in the history of science, including developments in cosmology, astronomy, mechanics, optics, alchemy, natural history, and medicine. In addition, he offered an illuminating account of the transmission of Greek science to medieval Islam and subsequently to medieval Europe.
            The Beginnings of Western Science was, and remains, a landmark in the history of science, shaping the way students and scholars understand these critically formative periods of scientific development. It reemerges here in a second edition that includes revisions on nearly every page, as well as several sections that have been completely rewritten. For example, the section on Islamic science has been thoroughly retooled to reveal the magnitude and sophistication of medieval Muslim scientific achievement. And the book now reflects a sharper awareness of the importance of Mesopotamian science for the development of Greek astronomy. In all, the second edition of The Beginnings of Western Science captures the current state of our understanding of more than two millennia of science and promises to continue to inspire both students and general readers.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars enjoyable to read, useful generalizations and fascinating details
This book becomes essential for students, and anyone interested, to get a picture of the development of scientific thinking in Europe. Lindberg shows mastery in reasoning from the particular to the general and viceversa. Although the book focuses on western science, it does not forget to mention the great influences from the islamic world. This is a must-read in history of science.

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent survey overall -- with occasional lack of detail
David Lindberg has without doubt successfully accomplished what he endeavored to do: write an excellent survey of the history of science in the ancient world and the Middle Ages.In fact, his was the only book I could find out there that covered this topic well -- it is a small corner of an esoteric field, to be sure, but an immensely interesting one nonetheless!

Lindberg's book is beautiful in its writing, far-reaching in its expanse, and cohesive in its coverage of the themes of the history of science.He writes in a manner that is scholarly yet friendly, even casual at times.His brush is a broad one the paints the big picture of how the ancient thinkers (the Greeks in particular, and to a lesser extent the Babylonians and the Romans) and the medieval philosophers -- both Christian and Muslim -- viewed the natural world around them.Lindberg does everyone justice, insisting time and again -- as he should -- that "science" thousands of years ago should not be compared to what we think of as "science" today, if only because the ancient and medieval thinkers asked questions about their world that were so fundamentally different from the ones we ask about ours.The book particularly shines when discussing Aristotle, the Muslim scholars and the Scholastics, true high points in the book.Lindberg successfully connects and relates the overarching themes in the history of science, making the book an immensely interesting and comprehensible work.

Though in painting with broad strokes Lindberg paints a fantastic big picture, in doing so he sacrifices detail. For example, the book, except for a few notable instances, is rather devoid of details about individual thinkers, and the reader learns little about their lives or the world in which they lived.In addition, the book is organized around themes within the history of science, and so little attention is paid to chronology, leaving the reader at times to flounder without direction in the stream of history.Understandably, if these issues had been addressed, then the book would have been massive, and would have lost its charm as the "big picture" survey ofhistory of science that it is.

I have not come across a work that addresses the central problems of early history of science so marvelously as Lindberg's does.Incidentally, this book is complemented wonderfully by an audio course from the Teaching Company, "The History of Science: Antiquity to 1700," by Lawrence Principe.With these two works, you will feel fully immersed in scientific thinking of the time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not too difficult or boring...
So far (I'm only half-way through) this book is very clear and direct. It covers the BEGINNINGS of science, so don't expect any discussion of Newton or anything recent.It only goes up to the 1500s.Obviously, then, a lot of the "science" is not very accurate. But the point of this book is not to learn science, but to learn the history of the study of science.If you're a PROFESSOR reading this review and considering using this book as a textbook, I suggest that you do what my professor did and give supplementary readings of primary sources (actual passages from Aristotle, Galen, etc.)

5-0 out of 5 stars First Rate Survey
This is a first rate survey of Western science from the Classical period to the eve of the Scientific Revolution.Arranged chronologically, Lindberg summarizes an immense amount of scholarly literature in a very well written text.Lindberg makes a consistent and successful effort to avoid anachronistically looking back at developments of the point of view the emergence of modern science.History of science is presented here with a strong effort to situate it in the context of contemporary intellectual and general history.Lindberg deals also with some historiographic issues related to prior interpretations of history of science.This is all quite difficult to do in a survey book and Lindberg carries this off very, very well.Each chronological period has a discussion of major developments and enough general history to make the context intelligible.Topics of greatest significance, such as Aristotle's system or Medieval physics, get excellent coverage. Some persistent themes are the importance of the Aristotelian system, the interaction between Platonic and Aristotelian ideas, the complex interaction between the Classical heritage and Christianity, the particular importance of the Islamic world as the heir and transmitter of Classical knowledge, and the importance of mathematical concepts.Lindberg does very well as showing the achievements of Classical and Medieval science while discussing why its underlying assumptions were different from the modern science that emerges in the 17th century.The footnotes and bibliography are excellent and constructed with an eye to providing a good guide into the literature for interested readers.This book is a real nice combination of informed scholarship and pedagogy.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Begiinings ofWestern Science: The European....
I have read a number of publications by David Lindberg starting with his dissertation at U. Chicago.This book, like his other publications, is well wrttten, understandable and useful.I recommend this book to the scientific audience as a fine resource for us all. It brings together a great scholarly exposition of the history of modern science, which in large measure has European origins. ... Read more

4. Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction
by James E. McClellan, Harold Dorn
Paperback: 496 Pages (2006-04-14)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801883601
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Now in its second edition, this bestselling textbook may be the single most influential study of the historical relationship between science and technology ever published. Tracing this relationship from the dawn of civilization through the twentieth century, James E. McClellan III and Harold Dorn argue that technology as "applied science" emerged relatively recently, as industry and governments began funding scientific research that would lead directly to new or improved technologies.

McClellan and Dorn identify two great scientific traditions: the useful sciences, patronized by the state from the dawn of civilization, and scientific theorizing, initiated by the ancient Greeks. They find that scientific traditions took root in China, India, and Central and South America, as well as in a series of Near Eastern empires, during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. From this comparative perspective, the authors explore the emergence of Europe and the United States as a scientific and technological power.

The new edition reorganizes its treatment of Greek science and significantly expands its coverage of industrial civilization and contemporary science and technology with new and revised chapters devoted to applied science, the sociology and economics of science, globalization, and the technological systems that underpin everyday life.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not as well researched as I was hoping for.
I read this book with great interest. Authors did a wonderful job covering the times of Early Civilizations and newer scientific advances. Where I think they failed was interpretation of historical facts in regards to European history. On page 198 the authors state: " Lesser political units or nations (such as Poland) that did not or could not adapt to the Military Revolution simply disappeared as political entities, swept up by larger, more powerful neighbors"
Where do I start? 600 years ago, in July of 1410, the largest battle of XVth. century took place in Grunwald (Tannenberg) where combined armies of Poland and Lithuania destroyed the mightiest European army of Teutonic Knights and their Western allies. Later, in 1569 the official beginning of Commonwealth of Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania takes place and prospers till 1795. For over two hundred years, the Commonwealth (through Union rather than conquer) that stretched from the Baltic Sea to almost shores of Black Sea was the dominant power in Europe. The very "lesser" nations of Poland and Lithuania, under the command of King Jan III Sobieski, defeated on September 11th. and 12th. 1683 the army of Kara Mustaffa and initiated the fall of the Ottoman Empire. This very Commonwealth, larger than state of California, gave birth to the second codified constitution in the World, on May 3rd. 1791, just 3 years after the American one. The very progressive character of Polish reforms prompted all neighboring powers of : Austro-Hungary, Prussia and Russian Empire to act in unison and divide Poland fearing its ideas might spread into their countries.
Lastly, there was nothing "simple" about Poland/Lithuanian disappearance. It took three partitions before the Commonwealth finally seized to exist. Until this information is corrected I can't rate it higher than two stars!

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I love this kind of book that gives a portrait of human ingenuity. All too often the perpetrators of violence get glorified (ie Alexander the Great) while people who made real contributions to improve our lives are neglected. More such books are needed. One such book I can recommend is The Pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria.

3-0 out of 5 stars introductory textbook to the subject "history of technology" and "history of science)
The main thesis of this book is to show how technology and science developed largely independentlyof each other throughout almost all of history.Science and Technology in World Literally is quite literally an undergraduate course book.In view of the complexity of the subject matter, I found this to be a boon rather thenhindrance.The authors do an amazing job summarizing complex material.

SciTechinWorHis (my abbreviation for the lengthy title) begins with a survey of the "pristine" civiliastions of earth:the middle east, india, china, south america, central america.. and... uh that's it.These are alll the original civilisations who started raising crops.The authors point out at that all of these civilisations were empires that built large hydraulic projects to help raise more food.Most of them also built large monuments (the pyramids in egypt).In these "prisitine" civilisations, the central government used "scientists" for calendar purposes."Technology" was made these civilisation's possible in the first place- farming improvements and the maniuplation of water to supply large urban populations.In these pristine civilisations science was sponosored by the emperor to achieve practical ends.Technology enabled these civilisations in the first place.And so, technology precedes science.Indeed, technology is one of the things that makes us "human" whereas "science" only comes into play AFTER civilisation and "history" begin.

In that way, the authors make the point- right at the beginning- that technology is quite central to being human, whereas science requires some form of organization.

After running through Egypt, Mesopatamia, India, China, The Aztecs and the Inca, he moves into the "greek miracle" and we are off to the races.After the multi cultural preamble, the book gets locked on europe and chapter by chapter we move through greece, to rome, to the middle ages, to the scientific revolution.Two hundred pages and nine chapters in, this book settles into chapters consisting of mini bios:Copernicus, Galileo, Newton.Then with the advent of the industrial revolution, they march through the "modern" period.Throughout the writing is crisp, and as a non-science type, I found this book quite useful as a survey and introduction to the subject.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good intro-level textbook; needs supporting materials
This is a great introduction for an undergraduate level class on the history of sci/tech/med. However, as other reviewers have pointed out, there are some rough patches as the work nears the 20th century. Even though some glossing is necessary in a massive overview, I was particularly disturbed by the boilerplate explanation of mid-19th c. Darwinism without much reflection on the German, French, and English precursors (Lamarck is the exception, of course) and oversimplifying the impact on the religious community (who generally accepted "evolution" while rejecting "natural selection"). For an undergraduate course, I recommend supplementing these segments of the book with R. Richards Romantic Conception of Life or The Meaning of Evolution and/or P. Bowler's The Non-Darwinian Revolution. For upper level courses or tutorials, I would relegate this work to "recommended overview."

All that being said, I was impressed with the broad geographic scope and McClellan's ability to account for the vast majority of the ancient, medieval, and early modern material in an interesting and nuanced fashion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must buy
This is an awesome book. It portrays a very well organized anrrative of science in history. I do not even major in history yet I kept the book. Awesome. ... Read more

5. The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors
by John Gribbin
Paperback: 646 Pages (2004-08-10)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$10.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812967887
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A wonderfully readable account of scientific development over the past five hundred years, focusing on the lives and achievements of individual scientists, by the bestselling author of In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat

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 terrific 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. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good introduction for lay person
This is an excellent overview of major scientists and their contributions.The focus is more on the scientists and events surrounding them, then on the details of their contributions.By doing this, the author was able to touch upon most all of the major contributors, and wet the appetite to explore in detail some of the more interesting, from either the perspective of their personal lives or their contributions.This is a good introduction to numerous great scientists that offers a great starting point from which to explore in further detail some of those that you may find more interesting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly educational and enjoyable
I very much enjoy reading about the history of science.The short biographies given about each of the scientists in this history make this book even more of an interesting read.As someone trained in science however, I would have occasionally enjoyed a few more scientific details, for example the control experiments performed to rule out alternative explanations.I also strongly disagree with the authors perspective at the end of the book regarding our current understanding of the natural world.The author implies that essentially all of the major discoveries in science have been made, i.e. our theoretical understanding is complete and it is now just a matter of filling in the details.If I am not mistaken, physicists prior to Einstein had a similar belief.In my opinion, we have yet to make similar conceptual breakthroughs that will be necessary to explain both the origin of life and the origin of the universe itself.However, regardless of these criticisms I still highly recommend this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Opinionated Science
Mr. Gribbin is a fine author. The book moves at a nice pace and never fails to entertain and inform. If it weren't for his incessant Darwinist conclusion and constant "attacks" on the the "church" it would read more like a history book which due to his opinions it is NOT.

On the "church" Gribbin fails to mention much at all about the prevailing attitudes in society in general. How proof of a non earth centered world was hard to come by and explain. As a modern man I can take this for granted but still would have trouble explaining a concise theory to convince others despite it's truth. I'm not defending the "church" (he fails to define "church" quite often) but the "church" is simply not put in context and comes across as if it knew all along and refused to admit. He glosses over the fact they went from an earth centered universe to a sun centered universe which is equally wrong and no fault of the "church"......It's this style which is quite abrasive from time to time.

It's on Darwin we see his quite unbecoming full frontal bias. And the problem is he doesn't back it up. He spends ample time with previous theories and presents excellent definitions and arguments but on Darwinism you must take his word that it's the single most important scientific "discovery" of the 19th century. With no further evidence or historical context he quickly begin to insert phrases such as "...man is part of the animal kingdom with no evidence of a uniquely human "soul"". This theme begins to appear with aching frequency. I don't begrudge his opinions and they have a place but his "Origin Of Species" thumping quasi religion is distracting. What's interesting is he takes the exact approach the "church" he railed against did. Proclaiming this theory as fact and Natural Law when it clearly is NOT! Gribbin doesn't take the time explain the theory in whole (while he goes to great lengths to make other theories quite clear) you must take his word on his conclusions whereas on other subjects he will inform you with facts.

Gribbin does not separate his ideas from religion or philosophy. He infers spirituality can be explained via science and since it can not it is a myth and doesn't exist. He is the reverse of the "church" but takes the exact same narrow minded unfounded stance. This is no more science than the Bible!

This is an excellent book otherwise. If your of Gribbins ilk and atheist and blame all man kinds problems on religion and are merely looking for kindred spirits to pat you on the back you've found your man! If you want a wide overview of names and dates and personal histories of the greatest scientist since Copernicus you have also found a great place to start. If your looking for a book about science that uses the scientific method to present ideas you have to look elsewhere and it's too peppered with opinion and supposition. Add to that his rather hostile attitude towards those who may have found something else in the universe Mr. Gribbin can not quantify.... and your left with an average boom at best.

I give 2.5 stars but err with 3 as it is a fun read despite the speed bumps along the way.

4-0 out of 5 stars How you see this book depends on what you expect!
If you expect this book to illuminate the lives of natural philosophers and scientists; to detail their idiosyncracies, oddities, obsessions, and personalities; to explore the politics and prevailing social and religious winds of their day -- then this book will be a joy for you to read, and you will delight in its pages.

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 liked this book, and I keep it on my personal bookshelf along with my varied assortment of useful dictionaries, thesauruses and encyclopedias. In other words, I like it so much that I value it as an ongoing source of information--not just a single reading.

In fifteen chapters, the author briefly covers the lives and significant scientific contributions of well over a hundred scientists whom any serious student of scientific history should, at the very least, be acquainted with. Beginning with the early Renaissance, the author discusses the lives and contributions of Nicolaus Copernicus and his earth-centered theory of the cosmos, William Harvey and human blood circulation and then, chapter by chapter, continues all way up to modern cosmology with noted scientists such as Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Norris Russell and their famous Hertzsrung-Russel star diagram. That includes a lot of lot of scientists. However, by his own assessment, the author admits that the book is certainly not comprehensive. Understandably, there simply isn't room to discuss every scientist and every contribution in a single volume. So the author picked his subjects carefully. To quote, "I have chosen stories that represent the development of science in its historical context." And, in that regard, I think Mr. John Gribbin did a splendid job.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I give it five stars.

... Read more

6. A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom 2 Volume Set(Great Minds Series)
by Andrew Dickson White
Paperback: 919 Pages (1993-05)
list price: US$22.98 -- used & new: US$14.92
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Asin: 0879758260
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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In this important and controversial work, historian, diplomat, and the first president of Cornell University Andrew White exhaustively documents the battle between science and religion in such matters as creation vs. evolution, the geocentric vs. the heliocentric, and the "fall of man" vs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Standing Up to Evangelical Rhetoric
This book looks extensively at what happens when superstition pretends to have a better claim to reality than nature itself: the result is that it constantly looks foolish. Over and over again, religion has refused to acknowledge the objective truths that are set before everyone regardless of cultural origin. The result is strife and wasted energy over things that never should have been thought of as "debates".
However, the greatest hidden gems in this work are the second-volume chapters on linguistics/biblical analysis and comparative religion/mythology. Not what we would typically call "sciences" (unless they be social sciences) these chapters illustrate why religion had challengers long before the Scientific Revolution: inconsistencies between bible manuscripts and between translations, pre-biblical occurrences in earlier cultures of stories often thought of as biblical, etc., etc., etc.
A great read.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Oldie, but well worth it...
I bought this book because Bertrand Russell Quotes it extensively (and, I believe, uses it even more) in his wonderful "Religion and Science".
This book was published in the late 1800's and it shows in its style which to me (a non-native English speaker) is a bit hard to follow. Nevertheless I strongly recommend it. It details how both Protestant and Catholic clergy opposed many of the scientific discoveries we now take for granted because they did not agree strictly with scripture.
Unbelievably to me, the author manages to keep his faith and claim that proving the bible wrong actually enhances religion...
The notes are extensive and provide huge amounts of sources (but they are very hard to read.)
One curious thing: Since at that time "gentlemen" studied Latin, there are many quotations without a translation.

1-0 out of 5 stars An exercise in error.
Just another atheist with an axe to grind. He puts words in the mouths of famous persons that are the opposite of what these authorities actually said he distorts and places in improper context many others. The one that really got my goat was when he stated that Thomas Aquinas said the earth was flat when what actually was said was a quote from Psalms that ws used by Aquinas to teach that we must not take scripture as always factual.

1-0 out of 5 stars Historians of science have long dismissed White
I am in a Master's program in Science and Religion. The facts are, White was the first president of Cornell University. Cornell was the first secular institution of higher learning in the US. White was resisted because of his desire to make the University purely secular; in response he wrote this polemic specifically against religion. He misrepresents history on many counts. For example, he quotes the mythical account of Columbus' alleged conversation with Ferdinand and Isabella about sailing to the New World to show the earth is round. I was taught that myth in grade school, only realizing in the last few months that this is a fable. Washington Irving is the one that made the story up about Columbus, White quoted him, and the fable has been perpetrated since. White has been used to perpetuate the myth that the Christian Church held that the earth is flat, which is again completely false. No serious historian of science today accepts the conflict thesis between science and religion, and no one in the field accepts White as anything more than historical curiosity. While the book might inflame people already predisposed to attack religion, serious investigators about the relationships between science and religion would do better to read real historians such as John Hedley Brooke, David Lindbergh and Ronald Numbers, or Dennis Danielson. The nuances in historical episodes such as the Galileo affair, who by the way was never tortured, are much more complex than the simplistic parrot talk usually perpetuated about these subjects.

1-0 out of 5 stars I've always been against throwing brains out the window.
If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: to know if a book is reliable, you have to understand a little bit about the author.White wrote this book in angry response to criticism for refusing to give his students at Cornell religious tests.As noble as his intentions may have been, the resulting book is a travesty and is largely responsible for creating the common Warfare Myth that has plagued the relationship between science and faith since the nineteenth century.Not only were reliable historical sources much rarer in 1869, White's idea of research was getting his untrained graduate students to dig up whatever they could find to support his thesis.

To make my case, I'll use the section on Galileo.White totally ignores the fact that Galileo himself was a faithful Christian and had no desire to be at "war" with the Church.The disagreement was not over the relationship between religion and science but between interpretation of Scripture.Furthermore, White introduces many outright lies into his argument.He claims that Galileo was subjected to imprisonment and torture when in reality, he was given a five room suite in a palace during his time in Rome.White uses sensationalism and melodrama freely in such ridiculous phrases as "seething, squabbling, screaming mass of priests, bishops, archbishops..." and "screamed in rage against the Copernican system."In short, the Galileo affair is extremely complex with errors occurring on both sides.To twist facts and tell outright lies to say that the issue was a struggle between science and religion only shows White's gross ignorance of the matter.

As a Christian, a scientist, and a fairly intelligent person, I'm shocked to see that people still use this ridiculous 134 year old sham to feed the Warfare Myth.In using this book against Christians, scientists are being just as narrow minded and naïve as the Christians who attack reliable scientific evidence in the name of God.Now that I've probably managed to make everybody angry, I urge everyone to realize that the issues White tries to cram into his simple model of "a" versus "b", are actually very complex and one would do well to do some real research into the issues addressed in this book rather than buy into White's mindless garbage. ... Read more

7. A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility
Paperback: 458 Pages (2004-05-01)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$39.96
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Asin: 1551113325
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility is a concise overview that introduces complex ideas in a non-technical fashion without sacrificing the sophistication and richness of the subject.

Andrew Ede and Lesley B. Cormack trace the history of science through its continually changing place in society and explore the link between the pursuit of knowledge and the desire to make that knowledge useful.

Along the way, they discuss the specfics of scientific investigation and discovery. Beginning with a small group of philosophers in ancient Greece and ending with nano-technology, A History of Science in Society covers a vast sweep of time and subject matter. Among the many topics discussed are issues such as intellectual competition, gender and class, the economic exploitation of knowledge, and changing ideas about the environment and our relationship to it. Also included are more than 50 illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars elegant overview
The book has an ambitious remit of explaining the role of science in various societies, since the scientific method first emerged in ancient Greece. Of necessity, much detail has to be omitted. But the authors show skill in explaining the essence of the scientific method, and why some societies, like the Britain that started the Industrial Revolution, were able to apply it successfully.

It is not a book about the intricate details of the sciences. It furnishes an elegantly written overview that gives a nontechnical reader an appreciation of how the sciences developed. ... Read more

8. Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History (The Terry Lectures Series)
by Mr. Ahmad Dallal
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-05-18)
list price: US$27.50 -- used & new: US$16.94
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Asin: 0300159110
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In this wide-ranging and masterful work, Ahmad Dallal examines the significance of scientific knowledge and situates the culture of science in relation to other cultural forces in Muslim societies. He traces the ways in which the realms of scientific knowledge and religious authority were delineated historically. The realization of a discrepancy between tradition and science often led to demolition and rebuilding and, most important, to questioning whether scientific knowledge should take precedence over religious authority in a matter where their realms clearly overlap.

Dallal frames his inquiry around three concerns: What cultural forces provided the conditions for debate over the primacy of religion or science? How did these debates emerge? And how were they sustained? His primary objectives are to study science in Muslim societies within its larger cultural context and to trace the epistemological distinctions between science and philosophy, on the one hand, and science and religion, on the other. He looks at religious and scientific texts and situates them in the contexts of religion, philosophy, and science. Finally, Dallal describes the relationship negotiated in the classical (medieval) period between the religious, scientific, and philosophical systems of knowledge that is central to the Islamic scientific tradition and shows how this relationship has changed radically in modern times.
... Read more

9. The Secret History of Science Fiction
Paperback: 424 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.71
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Asin: 1892391937
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This ingeniously conceived anthology raises the intriguing question, If Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow had won the Nebula award in 1973, would the future distinction between literary fiction and science fiction have been erased? Exploring the possibility of an alternate history of speculative fiction, this literary collection reveals that the lines between genres have already been obscured. Don DeLillo’s “Human Moments in World War III” follows the strange detachment of two astronauts who are orbiting in a skylab while a third world war rages on earth. “The Ziggurat” by Gene Wolfe traverses a dissolving marriage, a custody dispute, and the visit of time travelers from the future. T. C. Boyle’s “Descent of Man” is the subversively funny tale of a man who suspects that his primatologist lover is having an affair with one of her charges. In “Schwarzschild Radius,” Connie Willis draws an allegorical parallel between the horrors of trench warfare and the speculative physics of black holes. Artfully crafted and offering a wealth of esteemed authors—from writers within the genre to those normally associated with mainstream fiction, as well as those with a crossover reputation—this volume aptly demonstrates that great science fiction appears in many guises.

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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Collection
Overall, I'm impressed by The Secret History of Science Fiction.The editors have done a good job of selecting stories that touch on the border between genre science fiction and "literary" fiction.Of the nineteen stories included, five were truly impressive works of brilliance, ten were well written and entertaining, two were confusing, and two were disappointing.I should add that the ten I describe as "entertaining" would appear more impressive in a more common collection.Their light is only dimmed slightly by the incredible creativity of the five standouts in the collection.

The most impressive in the collection:
"The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas", by Ursula K. Le Guin, is a story set in a utopia with a dark secret.Le Guin draws us to question the price of our happiness.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, This is Your Crisis", by Kate Wilhelm, presents the future of "reality" television and the role it and other media may (or has) come to play in shaping human interaction in our safely cushioned civilization.

"The Nine Billion Names of God", by Carter Scholz, is a game of symbol and meaning played between a "writer" and an editor.

"Interlocking Pieces", by Molly Gloss, is a beautiful story about personal disaster, understanding, and acceptance.

"Buddha Nostril Bird", by John Kessel, is an adventure and a koan on identify and what it means to know.

I should add that I've only just finished the collection so it is more than likely that my understanding of these stories will grow as they continue to unfold in my mind.Several stories in this collection are truly works of genius and I probably don't do them justice with the descriptions above.I hope I've said enough that you'll give the collection a chance.If you're looking for stories that take risks and follow creativity wherever it leads, you won't be disappointed.

Two stories I found to be confusing:
"Standing Room Only", by Karen Joy Fowler, seems to be a simple story centering on a background character to Lincoln's assassination.I don't see anything in it that would cause me to label it "science fiction".It's well written but I just don't understand its inclusion in the collection.If you can tell me what I've missed I would be very grateful.

"93990", by George Saunders, is also well told but also left me suspecting I'd missed something.The author definitely succeeds at making me feel something and I think I understand the comment he's making about certain kinds of experiments.I'm just wondering if there's more to it, maybe something I'm missing.

The rest:
Most of the other stories in the collection are very well written but seem to lack that indescribable element that elevates the merely creative and clever to something more meaningful.For instance, "1016 to 1", by James Patrick Kelly, is well written and fun but reminds me too much of a childhood fantasy.Don't get me wrong, my interest did not waiver for a second as I read it.It's just that the ending left me wanting the something more that I found in the stories listed above.It's a fun story but looks less impressive beside "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" and "Interlocking Pieces".

I hope you'll get yourself a copy of this wonderful collection of some of the best fiction I've read in quite a while.I also hope Kelly and Kessel put together a second volume (they could start with something by Nancy Kress and go from there). ... Read more

10. Telling Stories: The Use of Personal Narratives in the Social Sciences and History
by Mary Jo Maynes, Jennifer L. Pierce, Barbara Laslett
Paperback: 186 Pages (2008-08)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$16.38
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Asin: 0801473926
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In Telling Stories, Mary Jo Maynes, Jennifer L. Pierce, and Barbara Laslett argue that personal narratives-autobiographies, oral histories, life history interviews, and memoirs-are an important research tool for understanding the relationship between people and their societies. Gathering examples from throughout the world and from premodern as well as contemporary cultures, they draw from labor history and class analysis, feminist sociology, race relations, and anthropology to demonstrate the value of personal narratives for scholars and students alike.

Telling Stories explores why and how personal narratives should be used as evidence, and the methods and pitfalls of their use. The authors stress the importance of recognizing that stories that people tell about their lives are never simply individual. Rather, they are told in historically specific times and settings and call on rules, models, and social experiences that govern how story elements link together in the process of self-narration. Stories show how individuals' motivations, emotions, and imaginations have been shaped by their cumulative life experiences. In turn, Telling Stories demonstrates how the knowledge produced by personal narrative analysis is not simply contained in the stories told; the understanding that takes place between narrator and analyst and between analyst and audience enriches the results immeasurably. ... Read more

11. Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey
by Peter J. Bowler, Iwan Rhys Morus
Hardcover: 538 Pages (2005-05-01)
list price: US$70.00 -- used & new: US$56.00
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Asin: 0226068609
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The development of science, according to respected scholars Peter J. Bowler and Iwan Rhys Morus, expands our knowledge and control of the world in ways that affect-but are also affected by-society and culture. In Making Modern Science, a text designed for introductory college courses in the history of science and as a single-volume introduction for the general reader, Bowler and Morus explore both the history of science itself and its influence on modern thought.

Opening with an introduction that explains developments in the history of science over the last three decades and the controversies these initiatives have engendered, the book then proceeds in two parts. The first section considers key episodes in the development of modern science, including the Scientific Revolution and individual accomplishments in geology, physics, and biology. The second section is an analysis of the most important themes stemming from the social relations of science-the discoveries that force society to rethink its religious, moral, or philosophical values. Making Modern Science thus chronicles all major developments in scientific thinking, from the revolutionary ideas of the seventeenth century to the contemporary issues of evolutionism, genetics, nuclear physics, and modern cosmology.

Written by seasoned historians, this book will encourage students to see the history of science not as a series of names and dates but as an interconnected and complex web of relationships between science and modern society. The first survey of its kind, Making Modern Science is a much-needed and accessible introduction to the history of science, engagingly written for undergraduates and curious readers alike.
(20050930) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Dense but thorough and well laid out
Bowler and Morus (B&M henceforth) set themselves two projects in this book.First, to create a general introductory overview of the history of science.Second, to introduce their reader (presumably an undergraduate history major) to arguments currently playing out amongst academics who study the history of science.

They are pretty successful at both, although a reader who buys this book without already being aware of the academic controversies may occasionally be puzzled by some of the positions that B&M take.

The tone is a bit dry and the number of facts per page can be overwhelming to someone who is learning this material for the first time.It's more of a textbook than a pleasure read.However, to my knowledge they have done an excellent job of covering relevant and significant people, events, connections to past knowledge, and social influences.

On several occasions, their "conclusions" at the end of each chapter are unsupported (at least in this book) assertions rather than actual consequences of the evidence and arguments they cover.No doubt this is largely due to the difficulty of compressing 550 years of scientific discovery into a single volume. I consider this the chief weakness of the book.Otherwise, it accomplishes its intended purpose well.

A professional historian will not need this book.A scientist or well educated layperson interested in history might find it overwhelming or simply too dense. But if you are looking for a middle ground between a completely academic volume and a pleasure read, or if you need a great bibliography or condensed summary volume, this is almost your only choice.Lucky for you it's well done.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Academic Introduction to the History of Science
These authors have attempted to fill the void in the history of science field by creating not exactly a textbook, but not simply a survey of scientific events.This combines both the survey and methodology by offering two sections:one which includes self-contained units on major events or periods in the history of science, and another which includes the methodological themes in the field.

The introduction is of great help since it offers a very short (13 pages), but thorough history of the history of science including the major works which are considered classics and addressing many of the historical issues as well as scientific issues which are considered when studying this field.The history of science as a discipline is clearly not limited to recording a list of discoveries, inventions or scientific events, but has much greater depth as this work makes clear.Furthermore, the authors do an excellent job of making it readable and especially thought provoking and expect the reader not only to question other science, history and history of science books, but also their own ideas and conclusions.How refreshing!

Additionally, each chapter ends with a list of references for further reading, rather than a long disorganized bibliography at the end.Furthermore, there are several illustrations, but the authors have not succumbed to riddling the text with graphics or breaking it into so many sections and sidebars that it is cluttered and unreadable, as unfortunately is the case with many test books.

I highly recommend this to the student (or professor) of the history of science and the dedicated general reader.

Table of Contents

1: Introduction:Science, Society and History

Part I:Episodes in the Development of Science
2:The Scientific Revolution
3:The Chemical Revolution
4:The Conservation of Energy
5:The Age of the Earth
6:The Darwinian Revolution
7:The New Biology
9:Ecology and Environmentalism
10: Continental Drift
11: Twentieth-Century Physics
12: The Emergence of the Human Sciences

Part II:Themes in the History of Science
14: The Organization of Science
15: Science and Religion
16: Popular Science
17: Science and Technology
18: Biology and Ideology
19: Science and Medicine
20: Science and War
21: Science and Gender
22: Epilogue

Error Correction: the Amazon product details lists 464 pages, I have the 2005 paperback copy which has 529 pages including index (513 pages of text). ... Read more

12. Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science
by Richard DeWitt
Paperback: 392 Pages (2010-10-12)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$27.43
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Asin: 1405195630
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Updated throughout and with three entirely new chapters, Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, Second Edition furthers its reputation as the definitive introductory text on the historical developments and philosophical issues that inform our scientific view of the world around us.

  • Represents an innovative introduction to the history and philosophy of science, designed especially for those coming to the subject for the first time
  • Updated new edition features the addition of chapters focusing on scientific laws, evolutionary theory, and implications of evolution
  • Covers the key historical developments and philosophical themes that have impacted our scientific view of the world around us
  • Analyzes the transitions from the Aristotelian worldview to the Newtonian worldview to a new and currently developing worldview
  • Explores challenges to the Western scientific worldview brought on by recent discoveries
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Philosophy still relevent
The author correctly argues that philosophy is not dead.The philosophy of science is still dealing with issues of what is truth, fact, and reality.There are still ongoing debates between realists, positivists, and historicists within the scientific community.This is truely an eye opening book on the philosophy of science. ... Read more

13. Science & Islam: A History
by Ehsan Masood
Paperback: 256 Pages (2006-05-15)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.85
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Asin: 1848310811
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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History's least-known yet most fertile period in science was the extraordinary Islamic scientific revolution between 700 and 1400. The story of the scientists and inventors is woven into a journey through the Islamic empires of the middle ages that enabled this revolution, and its contribution to science in Western culture.

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Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars pseudo-multi-cultural societies
Ehsan on page 71 of Science & Islam compares al-Andalus with pseudo-multi-cultural society of his times. During his comparison he recalls several not so important structural similarities and differences between the present pseudo-multi-cultural society and al-Andalus, but somehow the structural core of the real-multi-cultural society; the right to practice their own laws, with their own legal institutions of Christians, Jews and Muslims which was a historic fact in al-Andalus, slips from Ehsan's intellectual mind. Based on that I don't think I can recommend this book to you, for I am not sure how many other ommissions of important historic facts are filled up with gossips and legends to save the secular-pseudo-multi-cultural, mono-law society.

4-0 out of 5 stars Eminently readable survey of science in Islam
The synopsis of the book provided by the "Product Description" is fairly accurate. Therefore, I will only point out that it is difficult nowadays to get an objective, nuanced opinion on Islam, neither flattering nor biased against it (if I were to recommend a way to try and achieve this, I would suggest reading several good books on the matter, including this one among them).

So when I found this book I decide it to give it a chance, in despite of not finding previous comments on it. I was surprised that no one else had made a comment before to this interesting work, which, in my opinion, is an eminently readable survey of science in Islam. So I add my review (I would also suggest tofind and read in google Ziauddin Sardar's review of this book; he reviewed it together with "The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization" by Jonathan Lyons).

The book is short, less than 240 pages (plus bibliography), and is divided in the following way: Prologue.//1. The dark age myth. PART I: THE ISLAMIC QUEST. 2. The coming of the Prophet. 3. Building Islam. 4. Baghdad's splendour. 5. The Caliph of science. 6. The flowering of Andalusia. 7. Beyond the Abbasids. PART II: BRANCHES OF LEARNING. 8. The Best Gift from God. 9. Astronomy: the structured heaven. 10. Number: the living universe of Islam. 11. At home in the elements. 12. Ingenious devices. PART III: SECOND THOUGHTS. 13. An endless frontier. 14. One chapter closes, another begins. 15. Science and Islam: lessons from history.//Timeline. Acknowledgments. Bibliography. Index.

I was somehow worried it would be boring. However, the author manages to narrate the social and political context in which Islamic discoveries took place in such a way that I could not put it down, and read it in as couple of days' time. In any event I think that the professional historian and the educated layperson alike can savour it. So I add my review, my rate being between 4 (content) and 5 (pleasure).

Other interesting books dealing with the history of science that I would recommend would be "A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and Low Mechanicks" by Clifford D. Conner, and "Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction" by James E. McClellan and Harold Dorn.

For a better understanding of Islam, I would suggest reading the following works, it is worth it:

A) ASSESSMENTS OF ISLAM: 1) The best, impartial, wise: "Islam. History, present, future" by Hans Küng. 2) The political point of view of 1.3 billion Muslim people today: " Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think " by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed; and 3) Harsh but well argued: "Muslims in the West: Redefining the Separation of Church & State" by Sami Awad Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh;

B) WOMEN AND ISLAM. 4) A good reference book: "Women In Islam: An Anthology From The Qu'ran And Hadiths" by Nicholas Awde; and 5) Autobiography of a courageous woman: "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a controversial thinker with a very interesting life.

C) HISTORY: 6) General: "The Venture of Islam", by Marshall G. S. Hodgson (nowadays a classic included in any bibliography on Islam); 7) Turks: "The Turks in World History" by Carter Vaughn Findley; 8) Political theory: "God's Rule : Government and Islam" by Patricia Crone; and 9) Jihad: Understanding Jihad" by David Cook.

... Read more

14. History: Fiction or Science? Dating methods as offered by mathematical statistics. Eclipses and zodiacs. Chronology Vol.I
by Anatoly Fomenko
Paperback: 624 Pages (2007-08-20)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
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Asin: 2913621074
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
History: Fiction or Science? is the most explosive tractate on history ever written - however, every theory it contains, no matter how unorthodox, is backed by solid scientific data. The book is well-illustrated, contains over 446 graphs and illustrations, copies of ancient manuscripts, and countless facts attesting to the falsity of the chronology used nowadays, which never cease to amaze the reader. Eminent mathematician proves that: Jesus Christ was born in 1153 and crucified in 1186 The Old Testament refers to mediaeval events. Apocalypse was written after 1486. Does this sound uncanny? This version of events is substantiated by hard facts and logic - validated by new astronomical research and statistical analysis of ancient sources - to a greater extent than everything you may have read and heard about history before. The dominating historical discourse in its current state was essentially crafted in the XVI century from a rather contradictory jumble of sources such as innumerable copies of ancient Latin and Greek manuscripts whose originals had vanished in the Dark Ages and the allegedly irrefutable proof offered by late mediaeval astronomers, resting upon the power of ecclesial authorities. Nearly all of its components are blatantly untrue! For some of us, it shall possibly be quite disturbing to see the magnificent edifice of classical history to turn into an ominous simulacrum brooding over the snake pit of mediaeval politics. Twice so, in fact: the first seeing the legendary millenarian dust on the ancient marble turn into a mere layer of dirt - one that meticulous unprejudiced research can eventually remove. The second, and greater, attack of unease comes with the awareness of just how many areas of human knowledge still trust the three elephants of the consensual chronology to support them. Nothing can remedy that except for an individual chronological revolution happening in the minds of a large enough number of people. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars History: Fiction or Science?
Why is that nobody can look at it both ways? Ask yourself: for those who thinks it is nonsense - - why you never question yourself what had already been written as hisotry is not nonsense. Nobody can disprove what is written in this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars interestingly different
I have to say, I like all things that can turn your preconceptions upside down in a second. So does this book and therefore I like it very much. It is the first history book - I got hold of - that compares events that happened in different areas at the same time. History teaching, as done in school, always focuses on one area and one never gets the great picture. That is why I remember so little of it, history was a random compilation of bits and shreds and the occasional number of a year in between. To me - I am by no means qualified in the eyes of academics, of course - much of what is said in the books seems possible and makes sense. And additionally I learned a lot about official chronology, astronomy etc. on the fly.But even if one decides to refuse Fomenko's new chronology lock, stock and barrel, it still is a treasure chest of hints where to look for further information. These people who worked for 30 years on this really must be polymaths or something close to that, be it astronomy, chemistry, philosophy, history, languages, religion, engineering, you name it, it is absolutely impressing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Proofing Needed for Kindle Edition
There are a LOT of errors in the Kindle edition - and I have not even gotten past the introduction.Many words are split in two and one sentence made no sense - apparently words were left out or misunderstood by the software.It needs some serious proof-reading!!

4-0 out of 5 stars My mind is utterly blown.
This book will blow your mind, if you let it. Many people will find this books conclusions impossible to swallow for the direct assault on so many commonly but uncritically held beliefs about historical and even personal family timelines.

But regardless of whether one follows the reasoning to its conclusion or one stops short of accepting such revisions to the now commonly held version of history dictated largely by the West, there is no doubt the book raises many, many important questions about what we know as the history of civilization. Despite its academic tone and the fact that it is a translation from Russian most will find this book to be extraordinarily readable.

Many who experience difficulty accepting the conclusions of the book will still find it a quite enjoyable read if taken as a work of historical or speculative fiction, a book of possible worlds, alternate past histories.

Surely by now, most would recognize the semantic curvature of mens' minds, the subtle distortions in stories retold for generations, the relatively late development of standardized and consistent dating among the world, could lead to there being many things taken as "fact" in our history, that are yet uncritically founded or in need of further research. But surprisingly, many folks still resist a critical review, revamping, or making a fresh attempt to construct a new model through years of meticulous research as Fomenko has evidently done.

People who are unused to critically questioning and challenging the accepted "Truths" of history, religion, and even science, will probably have a hard time with this book. People who are set in their ways, or believe very strongly in any dogmatically asserted beliefs or paradigms, or with cultural or moral imperatives that prevent them from revising their models of the world or making new models, will likely be unable to read very much of this book.

Also, some replies to the other reviews.

There are a lot of two or three line negative reviews, claiming the book is too fantastic, too "christian", makes unsupported claims, or "lacks methodology."

Really the only way the reviewers could arrive at these conclusions is if they did not read the book, or perhaps they only skimmed it, or perhaps they have heard about its admittedly fantastic claims and feel a need to defend their personal world view by writing a negative review.

Please - don't take their OR my word for it, read the book on google books. Fomenko and the publisher have kindly consented to present the book in its entirety on Google Books. I read the book first there, for free, and now I'm buying the first of what will likely be several copies, the remainder of which I will gift to select friends who already question the dominant paradigms and world-views handed to us by dated or uncritical high school text books and much modern media. Indeed, as another reviewer mentioned, Leary and RAW would be well proud of Fomenko.

Perhaps the reviewers who find this book "christian" do so because of the subject matter. Europe since the time of the Roman Empire has used the Birth of Christ as the point of origin or date zero on the timeline now in use in the western world, A.D. or Anno Domini, latin for "the year of our Lord." Yet even this system was not standardized for nearly two thousand, or if Fomenko is to be believed, many hundreds of years. So much of Fomenko's work involves verifying, questioning and reconciling many of the earlier dates of the Christian era. But despite the centrality of the birth of Jesus to the European system of chronology, the book pretty much leaves alone the issue of Christ's actual existence. Its pretty hard to take away any sort of religious bias either for, or against, from this book.

Also there is a reviewer who has stated that a lot of the positive reviews seem to be written by Russians, or at least bear signs of being written by non-native speakers of English. To this I can only say, Fomenko is indeed a Russian, so is it really that surprising that his widest recognition and audience thus far is with fellow Russians?

Seriously, buy this book here on Amazon, or go find the book on Google Books, and read it. This is the kind of critical questioning of the underpinnings of civilization that could be the start of an entirely new version of the history of civilization, and could also be the beginning of an evolution in analytic methods of mathematics being applied to the analysis of historical events.

1-0 out of 5 stars Expert in One Field, Just Another Guy With an Opinion in Another
Chances are even if you have a Ph.D in Mathematics and or Physics you take you car to a mechanic whose highest level of education is high school. In short, expertise in one field does not equate to expertise in another, if it did historians would be writing papers on String Theory. It should also not surprise that in a time when people get their idea of history from the likes of Dan Brown a book such as this would find a market, like Barnum said, "A sucker is born every minute!"

Now, the author would have one believe those nasty Jesuits cooked up a bogus history of the world and have snookered everyone (but him, it seems the Jesuits are clever, real clever, just not clever enough) for hundreds of years. Boy, people are really stupid, except for our author. It's a good thing he has come along to lift the veil of ignorance from our eyes!

This is what you must believe to take this authors thesis as valid. Myself, just as I'll take my car to a mechanic who knows his trade and pass on the mathematician, I'll get my history from someone who has dedicated his life to it's study.

Also, IMHO the positive reviews are mostly pathetic attempts by friends (perhaps the author himself) to praise the book. Syntax use in many of them indicate English is not the first tongue, it almost sounds like a Russian writing (very well by the way, but certainly no Conrad like command) English.

Too bad I can't give negative stars. ... Read more

15. The History of Science Fiction (Palgrave Histories of Literature)
by Adam Roberts
Paperback: 368 Pages (2007-11-15)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0230546919
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The first comprehensive critical history of SF for thirty years, this book traces the origin and development of science fiction from Ancient Greece, via its rebirth in the seventeenth century, up to the present day. Concentrating on literary SF and (in the later chapters) cinema and TV, it also discusses the myriad forms this genre takes in the contemporary world, including a chapter on graphic novels, SF pop music, visual art and ufology. The author is ideally placed to write it: both an academic literary critic and also an acclaimed creative writer of science fiction, with five novels and many short stories to his credit. Written in lively, accessible prose, this study is specifically designed to bridge the worlds of academic criticism and the SF fandom.

The History of Science Fiction argues that, even today, this flourishing cultural idiom is shaped by the forces that determined its rise to prominence in the 1600s: the dialogue between Protestant and Catholic worldviews, the emerging technologies of the industrial age, and the cultural anxieties and excitements of a rapidly changing world. Now available in paperback, it will be of interest to all students, researchers and fans of SF.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Bad News
This books is bad news, especially since it should have been such good news.Science fiction is in need of a good historical survey, but this isn't it.The writing is choppy and labored.The author endlessly uses phrases close to "this x reflects science fiction's central dialectic," but in neither the preface nor the postscript does he do an adequate job of explaining this dialectic.At times, the factors in contradiction within the dialectic seem to be as simple as the tension between technology and mysticism.At other times, Roberts has a more complex theory involving the interplay between Catholicism and Protestantism, which, believe me, don't ask. The narrative aspect of the history is awkward and lacks flow.The only primary sources used in the text is the science fiction itself; the author has apparently visited no archives.The bulk of the book is taken up by plot summaries. This is a synthetic history, and barely professional.

At several points, the author fails to cite the sources that guide his thinking.For instance, from 297-299, Roberts discusses how Thomas Pynchon's _Gravity's Rainbow_ lost out on the Nebula Award to Arthur C. Clarke's _Rendezvous with Rama_, but he never cites Jonathan Lethem's essay "The Squandered Promise of Science Fiction," which appeared in the _Voice Literary Supplement_ in 1998, nor does he cite Lethem's later exchange withRay Davis, which appeared in the _New York Review of Science Fiction_.Yet, these pieces are obviously the origin of the Pynchon-Clarke comparison.Robert's work isn't plagiarism, but it comes damn close at times.It certainly isn't careful scholarship.

Finally, anyone who is well-read in the secondary literature on science fiction, including Darko Suvin, James Blish's work as William Atheling, and Thomas M. Disch's reminiscent _The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of_ , will find that Roberts has virtually no new insights into the genre.

I will probably use this book as an occasional reference work because it is comprehensive.This comprehensivity, however, and its too long time span (400 AD-present?why?) makes the work thin. It's a lemon, folks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well worth the title
Roberts' pretentious-seeming title is worthwhile for this book. The book explores the antic roots of SF, proto-SF and serves as a great reference book for an academical study. I am writing my dissertation on SF and this book is like bedside book for me.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference volume as well as an introduction
I've already been familiar with Robert's previous book on SF (an introduction to the genre published in 2000), so when I found out he's written a survey of the history of the genre, I was at once interested. Having read most of it (I skipped the early history), I've found it fully satisfactory. It's very readable, at once academic and entertaining, with brilliant occasional flashes of ironic British humour (e.g. when he expresses his disgust with the cheesy Ewoks of the Return of the Jedi - we're in full agreement there). He clearly has a concept to follow, a kind of personal view on the development of the genre, which is not too idiosyncratic but still contains a healthy dose of subjective opinions. On the other hand, he is very generous about most authors, not playing a game of eulogizing some and denigrating others. His tastes seem to be quite close to me, accidentally - I was often nodding enthusiastically while reading his comments.

While being an excellent survey of the history and also an introduction to the genre, it can also be used as a reference if someone wants to find new and interesting authors to read. Roberts has read a truly astonishing amount of SF, including non-English works (although his most obvious weakness is in that area; for instance, even though he praises Stanislaw Lem as the greatest European SF author of the late 20th century, I suspect he's never read anything by him except Solaris, which is a big miss), and he gives more than a laundry list of titles, making his preferences and recommendations clear.

All in all, a book well worth its price!

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Insights into Sci-Fi as Literary Genre
This study of the history of Science Fiction traces the roots of Sci-Fi back to the extraordinary voyages of ancient Greece, such as the Odyssey as a prototype for travels to the Moon and beyond. The volume is fact filled and contains lots of historical insights that relate popular sci-fi works to the historical events of the time of their writing.

My only complaint is that writing is academic in style. The vocabulary gets a bit ponderous at times. It is not a particularly easy read. Yet the information makes it worthwhile to wade through the heavy verbage. ... Read more

16. Ancient Science: 40 Time-Traveling, World-Exploring, History-Making Activities for Kids
by Jim Wiese
Paperback: 128 Pages (2003-01-17)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471215953
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Dig into the science of ancient times and unearth amazing discoveries!

  • Have you ever wondered where paper comes from, who made the first known maps, or how the ancient Egyptians were able to build the pyramids?
  • Would you like to make your own sundial, discover how to detect earthquakes, or learn to write in hieroglyphics?
  • Are you looking for great ideas for your next science fair project?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, then Ancient Science is for you!From Greek lighthouses and Roman bridges to Chinese kites and Mesopotamian soap, you’ll investigate some of the greatest scientific discoveries and the people who introduced them to the world.Dozens of fun-packed activities help you see for yourself how the earliest humans cultivated plants, why instruments make different sounds, how fireworks get their explosive power, and much more.All of the projects are safe and easy to do, and all you need is everyday stuff from around the house.So step back in time and take an amazing journey with Ancient Science! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Resource
This book is great because it relates science to history, with lots of easy experiements & demonstrations to try.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Way to Correlate World History With Science
I purchased this book to utilize with our homeschooling curriculum "Introduction to World History." Ancient Science covers science from pre historic time to the discovery of the Americas. Each section covers a particular period in history with experiments to compliment the historical setting. We are planning to use Ancient Science, Usborne Book of World History and Usborne Time Traveler for our science and history curriculum this coming fall.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great way to teach hands-on science to children
I love the projects in this book.As a homeschool mom, I like to teach about the "history" of subjects and not just the usual science basics.I want my kids to know how science was started, and who helped develop some of the modern day advancements in science that we use today.This book is great for teaching the beginnings of science.Measure the earth with Erastothenes, find out just what it was that made Archimedes cry "Eureka!".This is definitely worth owning if you'd like to help your children "see" what the ancient scientists saw. ... Read more

17. The History of Time: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Leofranc Holford-Strevens
Paperback: 160 Pages (2005-10-27)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$5.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192804995
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Why do we measure time in the way that we do?Why is a week seven days long?At what point did minutes and seconds come into being?Why are some calendars lunar and some solar? The organization of time into hours, days, months, and years seems immutable and universal, but is actually far more artificial than most people realize. For example, the French Revolution resulted in a restructuring of the French calendar, and the Soviet Union experimented with five and then six-day weeks. Leofranc Holford-Strevens brings us this fascinating study of time using a range of examples from Ancient Rome and Julius Caesar's imposition of the Leap Year to the 1920's project for a fixed Easter.Those interested in time, history, and the development of the calendar will enjoy this absorbing exploration of an aspect of our lives that we all take for granted. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Scholarship, but dense and boring
I haven't seen any other works on the history of time, time-keeping, and calendrics. Well, any really, besides some on chronometers and sundials (and another one by this author). So, I was very excited when I picked this up. The scholarship in this work is fantastic and well-referenced. Unfortunately, it's a very dense read, and the author has an unengaging style and a tendency to employ very long winded and very academic phrasing. He also uses too much jargon. This is a very atypical entry in the series which, otherwise, I really love. The main problem is that it's not really an intro (the only other "Intro" I've read that was less appropriately titled was Heidegger's equally non-introductory "Introduction to Metaphysics"). It's a monograph, not an introduction.

May be of interest to some more academic types esp. in epistemology or history of ideas, but not for the educated lay reader that is the target of the VSI series. In short, well-researched and occasionally interesting in small doses, but not something you can read on your commute to work or at lunchtime.

2-0 out of 5 stars Arid as a Timeless Desert
I like this series (Very Short Introductions) very much.This one I did not enjoy.The book has plenty of detailed information, but no context, no story into which all the facts fit.That makes for a very difficult reading experience for a non-expert, the usual audience for the fine books that are typical of this series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Dry and extremely technical
What should be an interesting story -- the calendar we all live by now is actually the product of a long competition between wildly different systems (imagine 8-day weeks, 13 month-years, and anywhere from 2 to 6 seasons) where victory was more often based on theology than science -- is rendered aggressively dull and impenetrable by Holford-Strevens' focus on technical minutiae. There's plenty of interesting information here, but it's probably too simplistic for experts, and has too much jargon for the layman.

5-0 out of 5 stars Time is an ideological invention
The first interest of the book is that it collects the essential data about how time is measured by human beings. Even if the author shows the main two methods : lunar and solar calendars, and the hybrid third solution, he shows that measuring time was never a purely temporal objective. It did not try to establish some absolutely material count of time or dating, because that was impossible, because the lunar cycle or the solar cycle are not absolutely regular, just the same as the earth's cycle. The author shows that dating was always dominated, determined by some necessities in society: the crops, the various rites and rituals, hence religion and many others, including of course political and ideological contingencies. This leads us to the obviousconclusion that time is not a natural category or concept. It is human. Time is not invented by man in its flowing always changing phenomena connected to the universal, be they cyclical like days, lunar months, solar months, seasons, years, or be they accidental like a natural catastrophe for one example. But time is nothing but a human invention in the seriating it implies that enables human beings to measure their activities and their history. History only concerns human beings, not plants nor animals. And if we can write the history of a plant or even a rock, it is because we project our own vision of time into the plant and the rock. History is also a human invention within the desire of and the need for human beings to remember, understand, plan and foresee its various activities on various scales. The best example is the week. The old (Roman and Babylonian) eight day system, then the 7 day system after the seven planets of the solar system including Venus (known by some as the morning star, the "star" behind Horus for an Egyptian example) and the moon ( the satellite of the earth). But the attempts at having other weeks are funny and yet very clear. The French Revolution and its ten day decades got rid of Sunday as one rest day out of seven to replace it by one day of rest every ten days. If you add to that the banning of religious festivities, particularly the Nativity week, the Passion week and the Assumption week, you have a real regressive social policy there. On the other hand the replacing in 1929 of the seven day week by a five day week by Stalin with one day of rest every five days (instead of one every seven days), but that day of rest was rotated among workers divided in five fifths according to their resting day is progressive on the amount of rest and regressive on the level of family life and even social life. This reform was quickly modified to a set and common day of rest for everyone but this time once every six days in 1931, to be finally restored on the basis of a seven day week in 1941. We can see in such schemes anti-religious intentions but also economic intentions to make people work more (for the French Revolution) or less (for the Soviet Union's first and even second reform). This book thus shows marvelously how man-made all the time measuring units are, be they seconds, minutes, hours, days even, weeks, months, seasons and years, even if man tried to build them on the observation of the moon and the sun, but in order to satisfy man's needs, desires, ideological intentions, economic necessities, etc. Time and history are man-made scales though history is basically the result of nothing else but the dynamics and contradictions of naturally produced structures then influenced and used by man and human groups.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
... Read more

18. Replications: A Robotic History of the Science Fiction Film
by J P. Telotte
Paperback: 232 Pages (1995-09-01)
list price: US$19.00 -- used & new: US$17.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0252064666
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A superb history of artificial people in film
J. P. Telotte is one of the foremost authorities on the science fiction film in academia today, having also broader survey of the history of the SF film, entitled simply SCIENCE FICTION FILM, and of higher technology in world cinema, entitled simply A DISTANT TECHNOLOGY: SCIENCE FICTION FILM AND THE MACHINE AGE.The value of this volume consists in its focus on what Telotte correctly identifies as the most dominant motif in the SF film, the artificial person, whether conceived as robot, android, cyborg, replicant, or reanimated being.

The book's greatest strength is that it manages to hit all the highpoints in the history of cinema.One might have wished for some films to receive more or even some discussion, but there can be no quibbling that the films actually discussed represent the most important films of the genre.I also liked that he included a chapter on serials, the only place where you can find robots onscreen (with minor exceptions) between METROPOLIS in 1927 and Gort in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL in 1951.Apart from a needlessly convoluted dissection of FORBIDDEN PLANET, most of his analyses are interesting and insightful.This is likely to stand as one of the standard works on artificial people in film for some time to come.

The book is not without flaws.It at times falls prey to some of the weaknesses of academic writing.For instance, I mentioned above the rather poor discussion of FORBIDDEN PLANET, with a rather beside-the-point belaboring of "doubles" within the film.The writing on doubling mainly serves to present a rather strained point that fails to illuminate anything in the film, but merely serves to articulate an insight that feels rather manufactured.Luckily this is an exception in the book.

One thing that I rather regret in the book is that it continues the rather harsh division between film and television.In the past 25 years far more has been done with robots, cyborgs, and other artificial people than in film.In addition, because television is better suited for in depth character analysis, the explorations of the issues raised by these creations are far more developed.Granted that this book was published in 1995 and therefore before the advent of Max on DARK ANGEL, Adam in Season Four of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, Sharon Agathon and other Cylons on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, Seven of Nine and the Emergency Holographic Doctor on STAR TREK: VOYAGER, Andromeda Ascendant on ANDROMEDA, Jake on JAKE 2.0, Kyle on KYLE XY, and Cameron on TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES.Nonetheless, there had been a plethora of robots on TV, including the Robot on LOST IN SPACE (clearly a version of Robbie the Robot, who receives considerable discussion in the book), Rhoda Miller in MY LIVING DOLL, the Daleks and Cybermen on DR. WHO, Hymie on GET SMART, Max Headroom on the show of the same name, Hawks and McQueen on SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND, and, most importantly, Data on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.The ST:TNG episode "The Measure of a Man" is very nearly as important as BLADE RUNNER or ROBOCOP in exploring precisely what it means to be a person.But in the end, I think the omission of any discussion of TV reflects the ongoing though misguided assumption that film is "important" while television is not.Though I ran two different film societies while in grad school, my own belief has evolved in recent years to where I believe that television has actually surpassed film as the thinking person's medium.I am hardly alone in this.There has been an incredible explosion in academic writing about television in the past decade.Hopefully people will cease viewing television and film in such exclusive ways, since the two media are so deeply intertwined.There are, of course, major differences, but these differences as well as their likenesses should be addressed, not ignored.

Still, this is going to remain one of the key texts on the history of artificial people in film.More than aliens, space travel, or time travel, the robot, cyborg, or android is the motif of choice for the modern SF film.This excellent book provides a solid exploration of the history of that motif. ... Read more

19. A History of Science in Society: A Reader
by Andrew Ede, Lesley Cormack
Paperback: 470 Pages (2007-05-01)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$37.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1551117703
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A History of Science in Society: A Reader, edited by Andrew Ede and Lesley B. Cormack, is a collection of primary source documents and an excellent companion to their text by the same name. It includes scientific papers as well as more popular and cultural expressions of scientific ideas from the likes of Margaret Cavendish, Albert Einstein, and Rachel Carson. Readings from the pre-Scientific Revolution, the Middle Ages, the Islamic world, and women scientists are also well represented in this collection. Each of the over 90 readings begins with a short description providing historical context, but readers may also refer to the authors' companion text. Illustrations and maps integral to the readings are included, along with a Chronology of Readings and a Topical Index.

... Read more

20. Teaching the Social Sciences and History in Secondary Schools : A Methods Book
by Social Sciences Education Consortium
Paperback: 455 Pages (2000-04-24)
list price: US$62.95 -- used & new: US$40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1577661389
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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A team of highly respected scholars and teachers collaborates to create a fully integrated coverage of social studies content and teaching methods. Teaching the Social Sciences and History in Secondary Schools seriously addresses the topic of content in the social studies curriculum. Content-specific chapters are written by discipline experts; numerous teaching and learning activities are adaptable for use with secondary students. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars A unique and important book
This book offers secondary social studies teachers useful, classroom tested, techniques for teaching the social sciences and humanities.A critical perspective is cast on key ideas that relate to engaged citizenship in our representative democracy. ... Read more

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