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Caesar's Last Breath Audiobook

Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us

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Publisher's Summary

The fascinating science and history of the air we breathe.

It's invisible. It's ever present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell.

In Caesar's Last Breath, New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it.

With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world. On the Ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds on the Senate floor, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding; in fact you're probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might well bear traces of Cleopatra's perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe's creation.

Tracing the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere, Kean reveals how the alchemy of air reshaped our continents, steered human progress, powered revolutions, and continues to influence everything we do. Along the way we'll swim with radioactive pigs, witness the most important chemical reactions humans have discovered, and join the crowd at the Moulin Rouge for some of the crudest performance art of all time. Lively, witty, and filled with the astounding science of ordinary life, Caesar's Last Breath illuminates the science stories swirling around us every second.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Sam Kean (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (68 )
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  •  
    James L Roche 08-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Fascinating!"

    Sam Kean intermixed great stories into science and great science into stories. History, Science and future predictions.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madelyn McGrath 07-27-17 Member Since 2012
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    "PV=NRT"

    Always a pleasure to listen to the stories Sam Kean has to say. Even if you've heard some of these stories before Kean has a unique way setting each tale into the broader history of our evolution in thinking. From developing order and understanding chaos, this one is an instant favorite of mine. Thanks

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Saint Louis, MO, US 08-11-17
    Amazon Customer Saint Louis, MO, US 08-11-17 Member Since 2016
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    "vastly entertaining"

    Sam makes science fun and accessible via great story telling. You won't regret reading any of his books. They all entertain and inform.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RRS 08-09-17
    RRS 08-09-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Wonderful"

    Fascinating, informative and well delivered. I am a huge fan of Sam Kean. All of his works present such a clear and comprehensible explanation to some of the more difficult concepts to understand; be it neurology or the possibility of living on other planets. I highly recommend this book
    JS

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-26-17
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    "excellent"

    excellent like his other books, shame that the disappearing spoon isn't available on audible Canada

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant M. 10-01-17
    Grant M. 10-01-17 Member Since 2009
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    "Very enjoyable until the ridiculous conclusion"

    The great majority of this book is the informative and entertaining popular science writing that Sam Kean is well known for -- minus a little forced humor -- but I will leave it to the many other positive reviews to highlight its strengths. Unfortunately, the final section nearly ruined the entire book for my wife and I, as it treats escape of the human race to another habitable (or terraformable) planet as a realistic option. We may certainly wish to escape from Earth's environment after major loading of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and the associated positive feedbacks that result in drastic warming, sea-level rise, and the major conflicts that our own military experts are predicting and attempting to prepare for.

    Even in the most optimistic scenario, and ultimately dependent far more on faith and luck than science, PERHAPS a very few of us might make it to another habitable planet - but even then, only at truly enormous expense and sacrifice of the rest of the population, not to mention the natural world, to provide the necessary resources and effort over many, many years of preparation. Kean may be correct in his assumption that humans will not change their behavior in time to avoid dangerous climate and environmental change, but escape from Earth is a ridiculous and irresponsible suggestion, and I'm extremely disappointed in the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas NAPERVILLE, IL, United States 09-23-17
    Thomas NAPERVILLE, IL, United States 09-23-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Another Sam Keen Book For Sure"
    What made the experience of listening to Caesar's Last Breath the most enjoyable?

    I liked this book as I have liked all Sam Kean's books- But this one, as interesting as he made the gas laws- There are a few mis-steps-


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Caesar's Last Breath?


    Which character – as performed by Ben Sullivan – was your favorite?


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?


    Any additional comments?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chemprof 09-08-17
    chemprof 09-08-17 Member Since 2013
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    "super nice listen a lot of history and sci"

    super nice read, a lot broader than I expected, thought I would be disappointed with science, but lots of cool tidbits

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori B. 09-06-17
    Lori B. 09-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Caesar's Last Breath is full of very interesting stories"

    The depth of research is incredible. Congrats to everyone that participated to produce this audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DLWaters 08-16-17
    DLWaters 08-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great book! Fascinating."

    I read a lot of science and I learned a ton I didn't know. Historical tales are fun, too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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