The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnick

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Read The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World Online Free - The Clockwork Universe is the story of a band of men who lived in a world of dirt and disease but pictured a universe that ran like a perfect machine. A meld of history and science, this book is a group portrait of some of the greatest minds who ever lived as they wrestled with nature’s most sweeping mysteries. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world.

At the end of the seventeenth century—an age of religious wars, plague, and the Great Fire of London—when most people saw the world as falling apart, these earliest scientists saw a world of perfect order. They declared that, chaotic as it looked, the universe was in fact as intricate and perfectly regulated as a clock. This was the tail end of Shakespeare’s century, when the natural land the supernatural still twined around each other. Disease was a punishment ordained by God, astronomy had not yet broken free from astrology, and the sky was filled with omens. It was a time when little was known and everything was new. These brilliant, ambitious, curious men believed in angels, alchemy, and the devil, and they also believed that the universe followed precise, mathematical laws—-a contradiction that tormented them and changed the course of history.

The Clockwork Universe is the fascinating and compelling story of the bewildered geniuses of the Royal Society, the men who made the modern world.

Title : The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 006171951X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 378 pages


Will rated it ★★★★★

January 27, 2014

Chaotic as it looked, these earliest scientists declared, the universe was in fact an intricate and perfectly regulated clockwork. This was the tail-end of Shakespeare's century, and these were brilliant, ambitious, confused, conflicted men. They believed in angels and alchemy and the devil, and...

Cari rated it ★★★★☆

February 19, 2012

While browsing the bookstore and idly picking up anything that looked vaguely interesting, I found The Clockwork Universe, which caught my admittedly somewhat eccentric, wide-ranging curiosity. Within a few hours I had a line of people calling dibs on reading it next (my mother, an ex, a geeky fr...

Angela rated it ★★★☆☆

December 07, 2014

Old-timey science! It’s not just dudes in powdered wigs! Naw, it's about their ecstatic sense of wonder, grueling focus, and sometimes batshit craziness! Dolnick is an incredible spinner of yarns. He builds a narrative with humor and panache, whether it’s something inspiring like Newton’s drive t...

Jean rated it ★★★★☆

September 19, 2016

The book takes place in the 1600 hundreds in Europe. Superstition and belief in the supernatural were common place. To this background Dolnick tells us the stories of Isaacs Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, Descartes, and Leibniz. These men discovered and described the forces that kept the ea...

Ben rated it ★★★☆☆

April 10, 2011

The year 1660 was a turning point in British political, cultural and intellectual life. The restoration of King Charles II, after eleven brutal years of military dictatorship, awoke a new spirit of vibrancy and optimism in Britain. And one of the earliest yet most enduring results of the new era...

Jason rated it ★★★★☆

January 25, 2012

The best passage of this book is in the conclusion of chapter 9: Scientists tend to have little interest in history, even the history of their own subject. They turn to the past only to pluck out the discoveries and insights that turned out to be fruitful—Boyle, for instance, is known today for “B...

Kevin rated it ★★★★☆

March 26, 2012

This was a slightly tricky book to rate. I gave it four stars out of five on the merit of the book itself, though I would recommend it mostly to people who are interested in the history of science but not heavily read in that area already. This book is not one that sets a standard for scholarship...

Greg rated it ★★★★☆

December 04, 2013

The most salient part of this book is the exploration of the switch from a mathematics dealing with discrete numbers, to a mathematics that could deal with continuous and infinite numbers. In other terms this book explores the rise of calculus and its repercussions on the world. My expectations o...

Kurt rated it ★★★★☆

December 10, 2014

A very interesting and well-written history of the early days of the modern scientific age, including great descriptions of the prevailing culture, attitudes, philosophies, and standards of living that accompanied the men (sorry, but they were all men) who ushered in the science and mathematics t...

Max rated it ★★★★☆

June 07, 2017

In 1600 the philosopher Bruno was burned at the stake for proclaiming that the earth was just one of many planets in solar systems throughout the universe. In 1633 Galileo was sentenced to imprisonment, subsequently commuted to house arrest, by the Roman Inquisition for saying that the planets re...

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