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 natures most sweeping mysteries. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world.
At the end of the 17th 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 and 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.
©2011 Edward Dolnick (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
This is quite simply an amazing exploration of the history of science and the great minds that drove it's unceasing progress. It made my top ten audiobooks (of of more than 200 over four years). This is science history brought to life and a good purchase for anyone with an interest in science or just needs a gripping narrative to draw them into the book.
The book offers a decent, general overview of the changes at work in European intellectual life in the latter half of the 17th century. The book is for the general reader; anyone with much knowledge about the history of science or of European history in general is likely to find the first half of the book a little tedious, but the presentation is probably helpful for younger or less informed readers. The drawback is the 'characterful' (read Hammy) reader whose forced, overripe performance makes the book sound silly and superficial. The book deserved better.
When I find myself eager to talk about the contents of a book I consider it to be an excellent read. This book caused me to annoy many friends. I hope I can find the time to listen again.
Meh. I feel churlish giving Alan Sklar a bad review because there is clearly a lot of effort there, but try less hard, please, Mr. Sklar. The little chuckles and rolling intonations distract from listening to the story and make you as the reader feel condescended to.
The rivalry between Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke and the patient help of Edmund Halley were the most interesting parts but the book dawdled far too long on breathless descriptions about how "It was REALLY different back then!"
Stagey. We want to hear the author, not the narrator.
If you're not familiar with the history of Newton, the Royal Society and calculus this is a very good place to start. It's a good general history that's very entertaining and non technical.
The narration was terrible in this performance and seriously detracted from the book itself. The history is interesting although the text is not particularly beautifully written. But the narration just killed it - patronizing and sometimes sneering tone. I would give the narration a zero if I could.
Audible Junkie, listen while driving everyday, look forward to the daily deal every morning just like my morning coffee
Absolutely! the content was extremely interesting. I picked it up on a daily deal and it was much more than I anticipated. I recommended it to my teenage son.
How Descartes came up with the X Y Axis and changed our world for ever. I have told multiple people that story
The narrator was excellent, his voice was perfect and his expression added to the content of the book
Students are taught the laws of physics in school, but this book brings a fresh perspective. This book shares the environment in which the laws we take for granted as truths were first explored and initially ridiculed. It shows the monumental challenge these "geniuses" faced in both uncovering the truths and then getting people to believe them. Overall, a fun, interesting way to review the basic laws of physics and astronomy.
When you listen to the narrator at first, it seems over overwrought and over done. by the first few chapters though, I was really enjoying it. He seems to enjoy the story, and even adds a chuckle when it is appropriate. The book is excellent, of course.
It's amazing how much we take for granted in our"modern" view. We deal with instantaneous speed, infinity, limits and a world where the hand of god is morale not operational. All these things are due to the extraordinary men who chose to pursue science with open minds at a time of plague and fire.
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