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A Short History of Nearly Everything

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A Short History of Nearly Everything Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of the world's most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey — into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.

In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail — well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand — and, if possible, answer — the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world's most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds.

A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.

Review:

"Hefty, highly researched and eminently readable." Simon Winchester, The Globe and Mail

Review:

"Wonderfully readable. It is, in the best sense, learned." Winnipeg Free Press

Review:

"To those acquainted with the popular-science writing Bryson has digested, his repackaging is a trip down memory lane, but to his fellow science-phobes, Bryson's tour has the same eye-opening quality to wonder and amazement as his wildly popular travelogues." Booklist

Book News Annotation:

Popular writer Bryson turns from geographical to temporal realms to summarize what has happened from the time of the Big Bang to now, especially as it pertains to items of local interest, such as the solar system, earth, life, and humans. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

One of the world's finest and funniest writers goes on a quest to discover the mysteries of the universe and comprehend the fascinating, eccentric people who devote their lives to unraveling those big questions.

Synopsis:

Bill Bryson is one of the world's most beloved and bestselling writers. In A Short History of Nearly Everything, he takes his ultimate journey?into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. Or, as the author puts it, "how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since." This is, in short, a tall order.

To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world's most profound scientific minds, living and dead. His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemistry, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school. His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it. How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface? How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is? How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out?

On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only this superb writer can render it. Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 517-527) and index.

Synopsis:

What does E=mc2 really mean? What is DNA? What was the big bang? These scientific concepts have changed our perception of the world…but for many of us they remain mysteries, bits and pieces of information retained from classroom lectures but never truly understood.

Now we can finally grasp the grandeur and complexity of these ideas, and their significance in our lives. Revised and updated to include the latest discoveries that are changing the way we view the world and the universe, this new edition of The Science Class You Wish You Had will take you on a journey through space and time—from the subatomic to the universal. It explains in a lively, accessible way what these milestones of scientific discovery mean and what direct impact they have on our lives today and will have in the future.

For everyone interested in science, history, and biographies of extraordinary people—or anyone who wants to understand the workings of the physical world—this thorough and authoritative book is a perfect introduction to sciences most profound discoveries, and a testament to the triumph of human knowledge.

Newton: Gravity and the Basic Laws of Physics

Rutherford and Bohr: The Structure of the Atom

Einstein: The Principle of Relativity

Hubble: The Big Bang and the Formation of the Universe

Darwin: Evolution and the Principle of Natural Selection

Flemming and Mendel: The Cell and Genetics

Watson and Crick: The Structure of the DNA Molecule

About the Author

Bill Bryson's bestselling books include A Walk in the Woods, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, In A Sunburned Country, Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Bill Bryson's African Diary, and A Short History of Nearly Everything. He lives in Norfolk, England, with his wife and children.

Table of Contents

Lost in the cosmos: How to build a universe; Welcome to the solar system; Reverend Evans's universe — Size of the earth: Measure of things; Stone-breakers; Science red in tooth and claw; Elemental matters — New age dawns: Einstein's universe; Mighty atom; Getting the lead out; Muster Mark's quarks; Earth moves — Dangerous planet: Bang!; Fire below; Dangerous beauty — Life itself: Lonely planet; Into the troposphere; Bounding main; Rise of life; Small world; Life goes on; Good-bye to all that; Richness of being; Cells; Darwin's singular notion — Road to us: Ice time; Mysterious biped; Restless ape; Good-bye.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

sharrona, October 16, 2012 (view all comments by sharrona)
Terrific book, entertaining and yet academic & authentic enough to be worth the time to read it. When I read this I was reminded of James Burke's writings and wonder why science couldn't be taught in school the way these men write. I can't think of anyone to whom I wouldn't recommend it, except those folks who believe the earth is 6000 years old and cannot tolerate thinking outside that box.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Danny Wray Crytser, September 3, 2012 (view all comments by Danny Wray Crytser)
I love this book! Used as a reading distraction, or for adding to my Science Class lesson-planning; it's a valauble addition to my library. I give it to friends as a gift. It can help any human with their understanding of "everything" i.e. with respect to science, and even with a little with better comprehension of the human-side of scientists. Great resource for coming to know of some of world's scientific research & learning centers. Start on any Chapter, but one should read and reread the whole book; I look forward to Bryson's next science publication.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
John Orvis, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by John Orvis)
A decent way to access this book is to read a chapter on something of direct interest to you and then start from page one so you understand the organization and format. Starting with cosmology can be a little tough if you don't follow physics or worse yet, if you don't "believe in science".

Great detective stories and surprising characters, neither of which are fictitious. It should launch a great hunt for the more complete stories of each area and person covered. The coverage of Marie Curie, for example had several, unknown to me, stories of her work including that she is the only person to have won Nobel prizes in both Physics and
Chemistry.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780767908177
Author:
Bryson, Bill
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Author:
Brody, A.
Author:
Brody, D.
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Trivia
Subject:
Science
Subject:
History
Subject:
Questions & Answers
Subject:
General Travel
Subject:
Science Reference-General
Subject:
World
Subject:
Reference
Subject:
science;history;non-fiction;popular science;humor;physics;history of science;evolution;geology;biology;natural history;astronomy;chemistry;cosmology;reference;nature;bryson;bill bryson;earth;general science;travel;universe;essays;funny;anthropology;world
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
v. 12
Publication Date:
May 6, 2003
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 0.94 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Cosmology
Science and Mathematics » Popular Science » General

A Short History of Nearly Everything Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767908177 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Hefty, highly researched and eminently readable."
"Review" by , "Wonderfully readable. It is, in the best sense, learned."
"Review" by , "To those acquainted with the popular-science writing Bryson has digested, his repackaging is a trip down memory lane, but to his fellow science-phobes, Bryson's tour has the same eye-opening quality to wonder and amazement as his wildly popular travelogues."
"Synopsis" by , One of the world's finest and funniest writers goes on a quest to discover the mysteries of the universe and comprehend the fascinating, eccentric people who devote their lives to unraveling those big questions.
"Synopsis" by , Bill Bryson is one of the world's most beloved and bestselling writers. In A Short History of Nearly Everything, he takes his ultimate journey?into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. Or, as the author puts it, "how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since." This is, in short, a tall order.

To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world's most profound scientific minds, living and dead. His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemistry, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school. His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it. How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface? How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is? How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out?

On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only this superb writer can render it. Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight.

"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 517-527) and index.
"Synopsis" by ,
What does E=mc2 really mean? What is DNA? What was the big bang? These scientific concepts have changed our perception of the world…but for many of us they remain mysteries, bits and pieces of information retained from classroom lectures but never truly understood.

Now we can finally grasp the grandeur and complexity of these ideas, and their significance in our lives. Revised and updated to include the latest discoveries that are changing the way we view the world and the universe, this new edition of The Science Class You Wish You Had will take you on a journey through space and time—from the subatomic to the universal. It explains in a lively, accessible way what these milestones of scientific discovery mean and what direct impact they have on our lives today and will have in the future.

For everyone interested in science, history, and biographies of extraordinary people—or anyone who wants to understand the workings of the physical world—this thorough and authoritative book is a perfect introduction to sciences most profound discoveries, and a testament to the triumph of human knowledge.

Newton: Gravity and the Basic Laws of Physics

Rutherford and Bohr: The Structure of the Atom

Einstein: The Principle of Relativity

Hubble: The Big Bang and the Formation of the Universe

Darwin: Evolution and the Principle of Natural Selection

Flemming and Mendel: The Cell and Genetics

Watson and Crick: The Structure of the DNA Molecule

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