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The Upright Thinkers

The Human Journey From Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos
Narrated by: Leonard Mlodinow
Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (158 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A few million years ago, our ancestors came down from the trees and began to stand upright, freeing our hands to create tools and our minds to grapple with the world around us.   

Leonard Mlodinow takes us on a passionate and inspiring tour through the exciting history of human progress and the key events in the development of science. In the process, he presents a fascinating new look at the unique characteristics of our species and our society that helped propel us from stone tools to written language and through the birth of chemistry, biology, and modern physics to today’s technological world.   

Along the way, he explores the cultural conditions that influenced scientific thought through the ages and the colorful personalities of some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers: Galileo, who preferred painting and poetry to medicine and dropped out of university; Isaac Newton, who stuck needlelike bodkins into his eyes to better understand changes in light and color; and Antoine Lavoisier, who drank nothing but milk for two weeks to examine its effects on his body. Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and many lesser-known but equally brilliant minds also populate this audiobook, each of their stories showing how much of human achievement can be attributed to the stubborn pursuit of simple questions (why? how?), bravely asked.   

The Upright Thinkers is an audiobook for science lovers and for anyone interested in creative thinking and in our ongoing quest to understand our world. At once deeply informed, accessible, and infused with the author’s trademark wit, this insightful work 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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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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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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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    5 out of 5 stars

The upright thinker

This brilliant profound audio book is prone to become endearing to those who love and
Are intrigued of physics the encompassing sciencce.

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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.