Synopses & Reviews
is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance—which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts.
With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world.
"Well-conceived, well-done popular science." ---Booklist
"Entertaining accounts of how various objects' chemical properties might have changed history." ---Library Journal
A fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have influenced the course of history, Napoleon's Buttons offers a new understanding of the shaping of civilization and the workings of the contemporary world.
About the Author
Penny Le Couteur, Ph.D., teaches chemistry at Capilano College in British Columbia, Canada, where she has been a professor for over thirty years. Winner of a Polysar Award for Outstanding Chemistry Teaching in Canadian Colleges, she was formerly the head of Capilano's chemistry department and was chair of pure and applied sciences. She has written chemistry distance-education courses, co-authored a chemistry textbook, and served as a project adviser in chemistry for universities in eastern Indonesia. Penny was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and now lives in North Vancouver. Jay Burreson, Ph.D., has worked as an industrial chemist for a number of years, and has held a National Institutes of Health special fellowship for postdoctoral research into marine natural products at the University of Hawaii. Jay is presently a general manager of a high-tech company and lives near Corvallis, Oregon. Laural Merlington has recorded well over one hundred audiobooks, including works by Margaret Atwood and Alice Hoffman, and is the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks. She has performed and directed for thirty years in theaters throughout the country. In addition to her extensive theater and voice-over work, Laural teaches college in her home state of Michigan.