This scans at long distance the history of astronomy and brings to close range the personalities of the pathfinders, scientists, astronomers and cranks who chart and probe the cosmos. A lively stylist, Harry Edward Neal brings human interest to his subject and cites supply sources for the amateur observer. There is an extensive bibliography and a rich guide to the locations of telescopes across the country. This focusses chiefly on the stories of the giant lenses, their makers and their manufacture. Nontechnical and very readable.