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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Drunkard's Walk and Subliminal, and coauthor of The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking): an account of scientific discovery from the invention of stone tools to theories of quantum physics - a history at once inspiring and entertaining.

In this fascinating and illuminating work, Leonard Mlodinow guides us through the critical eras and events in the development of science, all of which, he demonstrates, were propelled forward by humankind's collective struggle to know. From the birth of reasoning and culture to the formation of the studies of physics, chemistry, biology, and modern-day quantum physics, we come to see that much of our progress can be attributed to simple questions - why? how? - bravely asked. Mlodinow profiles some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers who explored these questions - Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, and Lavoisier among them - and makes clear that just as science has played a key role in shaping the patterns of human thought, human subjectivity has played a key role in the evolution of science. At once authoritative and accessible, and infused with the author's trademark wit, this deeply insightful audiobook is a stunning tribute to humanity's intellectual curiosity.

©2015 Leonard Mlodinow (P)2015 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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10/10 Got What I Wanted.

Well done. I'll be recommending this book to people along with Subliminal! Leonard Mlodinow makes sciences approachable to anyone. Great job Leonard and thank you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Book

Funny, well informed and at times thrilling and moving. Mandatory read for anyone who cares about science and the our intellectual history.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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unexpected subject focus

A decent read, I found that as it progressed the author moved away from a more generalized observation of human intellectual progress to a more concentrated look at the major contributions to physics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JoBo
  • Worcester, MA, US
  • 07-17-15

Fascinating history of the development of human thought and problem solving

At first I thought this was going to be just another book about down from the trees to up to the stars. I was wrong. The author has crafted an engaging tale of human thought and interaction. It is a must read history if one is at all interested in where we, as a species, came from and where we might be going. Thank you Professor Mlodinow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome summary of science

I like Mlodinow's narration. Upright thinkers are very easy to listen to, to understand and to enjoy. As all his books.

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Wonderful story and insights!

This is the second book by Leonard I have read and I very much enjoyed it. Now the difficult task of deciding which of his other books to read! It's all good!

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  • Dan
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 11-10-16

Professionals do it better

Would you listen to The Upright Thinkers again? Why?

It is one of the few books I'd listen to again. There's a lot to digest and several months from now, I may listen again. I'll remember more the second time.

What did you like best about this story?

The information is fascinating and well delineated. Some I knew, much I did not. It puts it all together nicely.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Usually when the author reads his/her book, it's a major mistake. In this case, only a minor mistake. While it's OK, it would have best to leave it to the professionals. They simply do it better and make for a better listening experience.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I don't think this book would make a film unless it's a documentary.

Any additional comments?

I really liked that the author kept referring to his father. It was touching and made me think often of my father, too.

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amazingly interesting book!

one of the best history of science book I have ever read.
easily written and interesting

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The subject matter outweighs the amateur narration

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The wealth of information provided was entertaining. The self narration was a distraction that took some effort to ignore.

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A Detailed Analysis of the brains of white men!

This book left my wanting much, much more, not to mention a tad weary of being inundated by cursory insights outside of the topics more suited to Mlodinow's expertise.

This book is littered with benign positivist positions, and what to me seemed an oppressively pervasive theme of championing the intellectual superiority of the scientific method (Its great, but why are you trying so hard to convince me?). At its most annoying, Darwin and Newton are presented with such positive gusto that it frankly made me a little uncomfortable (Again, amazing minds, also flawed in many ways as well).

If you are an on-the-fence creationist perhaps you will find the work useful, otherwise skip to the sections about quantum mechanics and relativity.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful