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A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change

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A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Scientific American Best Science Book of 2012

An Atlantic Wire Best Book of 2012

A New York Times Book Review “Editor's Choice”

The “fascinating” (The New Yorker) story of Athanasius Kircher, the eccentric scholar-inventor who was either a great genius or a crackpot . . . or a bit of both.

The interests of Athanasius Kircher, the legendary seventeenth-century priest-scientist, knew no bounds. From optics to music to magnetism to medicine, he offered up inventions and theories for everything, and they made him famous across Europe. His celebrated museum in Rome featured magic lanterns, speaking statues, the tail of a mermaid, and a brick from the Tower of Babel. Holy Roman Emperors were his patrons, popes were his friends, and in his spare time he collaborated with the Baroque master Bernini.

But Kircher lived during an era of radical transformation, in which the old approach to knowledge—what he called the “art of knowing”— was giving way to the scientific method and modern thought. A Man of Misconceptions traces the rise, success, and eventual fall of this fascinating character as he attempted to come to terms with a changing world.

With humor and insight, John Glassie returns Kircher to his rightful place as one of historys most unforgettable figures.

 

Synopsis:

This is the vivid, unconventional story of Athanasius Kircher, the legendary seventeenth-century priest-scientist who was either a great genius or a colossal crackpotand#160;.and#160;.and#160;. or a bit of both.

Kircherandrsquo;s interests knew no bounds. From optics to music to magnetism to medicine, he offered up inventions and theories for everything, and they made him famous across Europe. His celebrated museum in Rome featured magic lanterns, speaking statues, the tail of a mermaid, and a brick from the Tower of Babel. Holy Roman Emperors were his patrons, popes were his friends, and in his spare time he collaborated with the Baroque master Bernini.

But Kircher lived during an era of radical transformation, in which the old approach to knowledgeandmdash;what he called the andldquo;art of knowingandrdquo;andmdash;was giving way to the scientific method and modern thought. A Man of Misconceptions traces the rise, success, and eventual fall of this fascinating character as he attempted to come to terms with a changing world.

With humor and insight, John Glassie returns Kircher to his rightful place as one of historyandrsquo;s most unforgettable figures.

About the Author

John Glassie, a former contributing editor to The New York Times Magazine, has written for The Believer, McSweeney's, The New York Times, Salon, Wired, and other publications. He is the author of the photo book Bicycles Locked to Poles and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594631894
Author:
Glassie, John
Publisher:
Riverhead Books
Subject:
History
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20131131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Possible line art throughout
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
Featured Titles » Science
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594631894 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
This is the vivid, unconventional story of Athanasius Kircher, the legendary seventeenth-century priest-scientist who was either a great genius or a colossal crackpotand#160;.and#160;.and#160;. or a bit of both.

Kircherandrsquo;s interests knew no bounds. From optics to music to magnetism to medicine, he offered up inventions and theories for everything, and they made him famous across Europe. His celebrated museum in Rome featured magic lanterns, speaking statues, the tail of a mermaid, and a brick from the Tower of Babel. Holy Roman Emperors were his patrons, popes were his friends, and in his spare time he collaborated with the Baroque master Bernini.

But Kircher lived during an era of radical transformation, in which the old approach to knowledgeandmdash;what he called the andldquo;art of knowingandrdquo;andmdash;was giving way to the scientific method and modern thought. A Man of Misconceptions traces the rise, success, and eventual fall of this fascinating character as he attempted to come to terms with a changing world.

With humor and insight, John Glassie returns Kircher to his rightful place as one of historyandrsquo;s most unforgettable figures.

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