There is great satisfaction in reading anything Harlow Shapley writes. There is a particularly imaginative approach in the broad variety of subjects discussed here that is intimate enough to show in true perspective what a great scientist can be -- not only a person who has added to man's knowledge in his special field, but also an honest humanitarian who has bridged spectacularly in his thinking and appreciation of mankind's problems the figurative chasm C.P. Snow has posited in man's intellectual development. And he teaches as he writes because there is a warmth of expression that cannot but attract the student and the layman. He ranges through crystal clear descriptions of the theories of the evolution of the Universe, the galaxies, the chemical elements, the possibilities of Life elsewhere in the Universe, to deep yet cogent considerations of humanity's capacities to survive its own perversities. Made up in part of lectures, addresses, and articles that have all been reworked, this volume in toto offers all readers a superlative perspective of the scientist at his best.