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1 Beaverton Astronomy- General

A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos


A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos Cover

ISBN13: 9780802717931
ISBN10: 0802717934
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Michael Barton, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by Michael Barton)
Popular history-of-science writer Dava Sobel tells the story of how, in the middle of the 16th century, a young mathematician named Rheticus traveled to Poland and convinced an aging Nicolaus Copernicus to publish his controversial theory that the earth, like all other planets, orbited the sun. Since there is no historical record of what happened during the visit beyond later recollections, the “how” is given to the reader as a fictionalized play, And the Sun Stood Still. This drama is flanked on both sides by six chapters that provide background information on the lives of Copernicus and Rheticus and place this event in the history of astronomy and its religious and political context.

While there is nothing new to learn about Copernicus, Sobel’s narrative in the first section of the book is engaging. The play is interesting, but comes across as a history-of-science soap opera full of flat characters. The third part seems too quick an overview of Tycho, Kepler, and Galileo. Overall, A More Perfect Heaven is a suitable introduction for one not familiar with Copernicus, but for those already versed in the history of astronomy, Sobel’s book would not suffice as required reading.
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mauserati, January 8, 2012 (view all comments by mauserati)
(Facts + Conjecture)Honesty = Art
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Product Details

How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos
Sobel, Dava
Walker & Company
General History
Astronomy - General
Series Volume:
How Copernicus Revol
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 6 in

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Featured Titles » Science
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos Used Hardcover
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$10.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802717931 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Sobel, author of the bestselling Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, brings something different to the bulging Copernicus canon. She wants to know why Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 — 1543) waited till shortly before his death to publish the universe-expanding ideas that he had previously only quietly circulated among other scientists. Her conclusion: in the midst of Martin Luther's challenge to the Catholic Church, Copernicus, himself a Church canon, feared the Church's response to his radical notion that Earth revolved around the Sun. His thesis, of course, altered nothing less than the our view of our place in the cosmos. Daringly, Sobel embeds within a factual narrative a two-act play in which she imagines the relationship between the aging Copernicus and a young mathematician (and Lutheran) named Georg Joachim Rheticus, who Sobel says 'convinced' the great astronomer 'to publish his crazy idea.' Delivered with her usual stylistic grace (and here, a touch of astrological whimsy), Sobel's gamble largely succeeds in bringing Copernicus and his intellectually and religiously tumultuous time alive. B&w illus., maps. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "This is a gem of a book."
"Review" by , "As much a tale of intrigue as it is of science...A book full of gems for anyone interested in history, geography, astronomy, navigation, clockmaking, and
"Review" by , "No novelist could improve on the elements of Dava Sobel's Longitude...Intricate and elegant."
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