This is in the main a distinguished collection of essays on science and scientists most of which have appeared as extended book reviews in The Scientific American where the author is one of its better known editors. Newman has seized upon the reviewing of the scientific book as a chance not only to evaluate it, but also to give expositions in science and scientific biography that in themselves are competent lessons in the history of sciences. All of his writing is clear and to the point. But in terms of subject matter, this collection is piecement--an admitted miscellany encompassing biographical sketches of Bacon, Cardano, Newton, Calton, the Wright brothers, Einstein, Freud, and others, as well as subjects such as ""Nature and the Greeks"", ""The Lisbon Earthquake"", ""Reason and Chance in Scientific Discovery"", ""Determinism and Indeterminist"", ""The Foreseeable Future"", and further essays stimulated by the appearance of a new book on the subject. This would be an admirable addition to larger popular science collections, but extravagant for smaller collections which might do better to add some of the fine volumes he recommends.