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Circles: Fifty Round-Trips Through History, Technology, Science, Culture

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Circles: Fifty Round-Trips Through History, Technology, Science, Culture Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the bestselling author of The Knowledge Web come fifty mesmerizing journeys into the history of technology, each following a chain of consequential events that ends precisely where it began. Whether exploring electromagnetic fields, the origin of hot chocolate, or DNA fingerprinting, these essays — which originally appeared in James Burke's popular Scientific American column — all illustrate the serendipitous and surprisingly circular nature of change.

In "Room with (Half) a View," for instance, Burke muses about the partly obscured railway bridge outside his home on the Thames. Thinking of the bridge engineer, who also built the steamship that laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable, causes him to recall Samuel Morse; which, in turn, conjures up Morse's neighbor, firearms inventor Sam Colt, and his rival, Remington. One dizzying connection after another leads to Karl Marx's daughter, who attended Socialist meetings with a trombonist named Gustav Holst, who once lived in the very house that blocks Burke's view of the bridge on the Thames. Burke's essays all evolve in this organic manner, highlighting the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated events and innovations. Romantic poetry leads to brandy distillation; tonic water connects through Leibniz to the first explorers to reach the North Pole.

Witty, instructive, and endlessly entertaining, Circles expands on the trademark style that has captivated James Burke fans for years. This unique collection is sure to stimulate and delight history buffs, technophiles, and anyone else with a healthy intellectual curiosity.

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of "The Knowledge Web" plumbs the history of technology to reveal the surprisingly circular nature of change, giving proof why "The Washington Post" calls Burke "one of the most intriguing minds in the Western world". 50 line drawings.

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of The Knowledge Web come fifty mesmerizing journeys into the history of technology, each following a chain of consequential events that ends precisely where it began. Whether exploring electromagnetic fields, the origin of hot chocolate, or DNA fingerprinting, these essays — which originally appeared in James Burke's popular Scientific American column — all illustrate the serendipitous and surprisingly circular nature of change.

In "Room with (Half) a View," for instance, Burke muses about the partly obscured railway bridge outside his home on the Thames. Thinking of the bridge engineer, who also built the steamship that laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable, causes him to recall Samuel Morse; which, in turn, conjures up Morse's neighbor, firearms inventor Sam Colt, and his rival, Remington. One dizzying connection after another leads to Karl Marx's daughter, who attended Socialist meetings with a trombonist named Gustav Holst, who once lived in the very house that blocks Burke's view of the bridge on the Thames. Burke's essays all evolve in this organic manner, highlighting the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated events and innovations. Romantic poetry leads to brandy distillation; tonic water connects through Leibniz to the first explorers to reach the North Pole.

Witty, instructive, and endlessly entertaining, Circles expands on the trademark style that has captivated James Burke fans for years. This unique collection is sure to stimulate and delight history buffs, technophiles, and anyone else with a healthy intellectual curiosity.

About the Author

James Burke's books include the bestselling Connections, The Pinball Effect, The Day the Universe Changed, and The Knowledge Web. He contributes a monthly column to Scientific American and serves as director, writer, and host of the television series Connections 3, which airs on the Learning Channel. He lives in London, England.

Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword

  1. A Bit of a Flutter
  2. Satisfied Customers
  3. Folies de Grandeur
  4. A Lot of Baloney
  5. Impressions
  6. Making Your Mark
  7. What Goes Around Comes Around
  8. Sweet Dreams
  9. Waving the Flag
  10. The Silk Circuit
  11. Out of Gas
  12. Ordinary Buffoons
  13. Breakfast Thoughts
  14. Stones and Bones
  15. Is This Essay Noticeably Different?
  16. Showtime
  17. Cool Stuff
  18. Revolutionary Matters
  19. Don't Forget This One
  20. Take Two Acronyms
  21. The Buck Starts Here
  22. Healthy Blooms
  23. And Now the Weather
  24. On Track
  25. Is There Anybody There?
  26. Turkish Delight
  27. Sheer Poetry
  28. Lucky He Missed
  29. Cheers
  30. What's in a Name?
  31. Feathered Friends
  32. Scribble, Scribble
  33. Heavy Stuff
  34. Tick Tock
  35. Rebellious Affairs
  36. Local Color
  37. Does This Take You Back?
  38. Oops
  39. Tea, Anyone?
  40. A Light Little Number
  41. Lend Me Your Ear
  42. Entente Cordiale
  43. Zzzzzzz
  44. A Few Notes
  45. Sound Ideas
  46. Or Maybe Not
  47. A Matter of Degree
  48. Room with (Half) a View
  49. Various, Unrequited
  50. The O Zone

Select Bibliography

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743200080
Subtitle:
Fifty Round Trips Through History Technology Science Culture
Author:
Burke, James
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Science
Subject:
History
Subject:
Technology
Subject:
General Science
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 282-286).
Series Volume:
1999-209694
Publication Date:
20001205
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.50x6.50x1.00 in. 1.25 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Technology

Circles: Fifty Round-Trips Through History, Technology, Science, Culture Used Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Simon & Schuster Books - English 9780743200080 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The bestselling author of "The Knowledge Web" plumbs the history of technology to reveal the surprisingly circular nature of change, giving proof why "The Washington Post" calls Burke "one of the most intriguing minds in the Western world". 50 line drawings.
"Synopsis" by , From the bestselling author of The Knowledge Web come fifty mesmerizing journeys into the history of technology, each following a chain of consequential events that ends precisely where it began. Whether exploring electromagnetic fields, the origin of hot chocolate, or DNA fingerprinting, these essays — which originally appeared in James Burke's popular Scientific American column — all illustrate the serendipitous and surprisingly circular nature of change.

In "Room with (Half) a View," for instance, Burke muses about the partly obscured railway bridge outside his home on the Thames. Thinking of the bridge engineer, who also built the steamship that laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable, causes him to recall Samuel Morse; which, in turn, conjures up Morse's neighbor, firearms inventor Sam Colt, and his rival, Remington. One dizzying connection after another leads to Karl Marx's daughter, who attended Socialist meetings with a trombonist named Gustav Holst, who once lived in the very house that blocks Burke's view of the bridge on the Thames. Burke's essays all evolve in this organic manner, highlighting the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated events and innovations. Romantic poetry leads to brandy distillation; tonic water connects through Leibniz to the first explorers to reach the North Pole.

Witty, instructive, and endlessly entertaining, Circles expands on the trademark style that has captivated James Burke fans for years. This unique collection is sure to stimulate and delight history buffs, technophiles, and anyone else with a healthy intellectual curiosity.

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