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The Clockwork Universe Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2011 Edward Dolnick (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2402 )
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4.1 (2024 )
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4.2 (2012 )
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  •  
    Nancy Waterloo, ON, Canada 05-28-16
    Nancy Waterloo, ON, Canada 05-28-16 Member Since 2014

    I love learning, teaching, and exploring!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A narrative of science"

    I loved this book! It was fascinating to hear about the motivations and stories from some of the early science icons. The book is presented almost like a story and the narrator was excellent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Barnes 04-20-16
    N. Barnes 04-20-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating history with a skilled narrator"

    I am a professional historian, so if history is not your thing then take my review with a grain of salt. This book is very well written (though it is geared toward a lay audience so it's sometimes a bit repetitive) and the narrator is one of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Andrusiewicz Bucks County, PA 04-19-16
    Frank Andrusiewicz Bucks County, PA 04-19-16 Member Since 2016
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    "an excellent listen"

    well narrated, interesting balance of slice of life, technical theory and historical fact. for those curious about the ideas and the men behind them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Blonde Keller, TX 04-19-16
    Philip Blonde Keller, TX 04-19-16 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    "Good book, a little repetitive at times."

    a good in depth account of the period and it's mindset. good performance too. it gets a little repetitive at times when the author tried to illustrate the same facts over and over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    King grant Ft.Lauderdale Fl 04-19-16
    King grant Ft.Lauderdale Fl 04-19-16 Member Since 2015
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    "If you think you are smart then read this book!"
    Any additional comments?

    After reading this book, I have decided I am only 350 years behind the learning curve.I am starting anew with more inspiration!.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kay Walker 04-17-16
    Kay Walker 04-17-16 Listener Since 2006
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    9
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    "The Clockwork Universe"

    Fascinating! This book opened a whole new world to me, and has prompted me to continue learning about Isaac Newton.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marshall 04-12-16
    marshall 04-12-16 Listener Since 2009
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    "Fascinating synopsis of 17th century science"
    If you could sum up The Clockwork Universe in three words, what would they be?

    Calculus, Gravity, God


    Any additional comments?

    Great book summarizing the world of math, science, astronomy, physics and God's role in the real physical world in the 17th century.

    It has been a while since I read up on important historical figures of that time frame, but after listening to this book, I am thinking I want a more in depth knowledge of Galileo, Kepler, Leibniz and Newton.

    The author ties these people and others of the time as well as the pervading world view (God is the ultimate creator) into a seamless summary of the 17th centuries greatest contributions to the world of math and science.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Palo Cedro, CA United States 04-10-16
    Kindle Customer Palo Cedro, CA United States 04-10-16 Member Since 2013
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    "A GREAT SUMMARY OF THE GREATEST SCIENTIFIC ERA"

    This is a really interesting history for non-scientists. I count myself as a non-scientist/mathematician but found this narrative easy to understand and quite interesting. It reads a lot like a really good thriller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Farris Altamont, KS, US 03-27-16
    Michael Farris Altamont, KS, US 03-27-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Poorly Written"

    Love the subject matter but did not enjoy this book. Reads with the literary maturity of a high school essay. Random and disjointed thoughts, odd references to modern times, heavy religious overtones, and squirrelly narration made this my least favorite audiobook to date (of nearly 100 titles).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mathew 03-23-16
    mathew 03-23-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Totally lived up to expectations and other reviews"
    If you could sum up The Clockwork Universe in three words, what would they be?

    A great review or restatement of information for a long time fan of the time period and historical people. .


    What other book might you compare The Clockwork Universe to and why?

    I first became interested in the royal society from reading Neal Stephenson's' Baroque cycle. An exquisitely researched and written historical fiction novel.


    What does Alan Sklar bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    For the first chapter of the book I was really worried that his soft and melodic tone would cause me to fall asleep. He is however a great narrator and I found his performance and presentation to be interesting,energetic and done in an excellent tone that matched what he was reading.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, but It was a great book to listen to bit by bit. Chapters are shortish about 12 minutes on average so it made picking up and or stopping very easy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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