Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 164)

TIME by Clifford A. Pickover
Released: May 1, 1998

"In spite of the overly cute narrative form, this could serve as an entertaining introduction to modern scientific principles for bright students as well as adults."
A playful introduction to modern physics from a Discovery magazine columnist. Read full book review >
Released: April 23, 1998

"In this case the audience can and should include students of all ages. (Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection)"
In 1963—two years before he got the Nobel Prize—Feynman was asked to deliver three lectures to a lay audience at the University of Washington. Read full book review >

WONDERS AND THE ORDER OF NATURE, 1150-1750 by Lorraine Daston
Released: April 16, 1998

"An informed and original look at the role of wonder during a time when there was a whole lot to wonder about. (114 b&w illustrations, not seen)"
Historians of science Daston (Harvard) and Park's (Max Planck Inst.) sweeping investigation into the place of wonder and wonders in natural philosophy and history—from the High Middle Ages to the Enlightenment—is dense with erudition and pleasingly light on its scholarly feet. Read full book review >
TO SEEK OUT NEW LIFE by Athena Andreadis
Released: April 15, 1998

"An entertaining book that deserves an audience well beyond sci-fi fandom."
A Harvard biologist explains the real science behind the popular sci-fi TV show. Read full book review >
Released: April 7, 1998

"His wonderful description of the emergence and proliferation of life on earth combines the vision of a scientist with an intimate knowledge of the fossil record with the insight of a scholar for masterful interpretation. (24 pages photos, not seen) (Book-of-the-Month Club main selection)"
The story of the creatures great and small who have graced the planet then and now, and of the scientists who have studied them, marvelously told by a senior paleontologist at London's Natural History Museum. Read full book review >

Released: April 6, 1998

"Highly recommended."
A leading Danish science writer argues that our conscious mental processes are only the surface aspect of the mind. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1998

"But do credit Zimmer with this scholarly disquisition on two of evolution's most absorbing transformations."
Points to Zimmer, a senior editor at Discover magazine, for tackling unplowed ground in popular paleontology: no less than the movement of life from sea to land (over 350 million years ago) and the later reverse migration as land mammals returned to the sea. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1998

"Historians of science will enjoy this imaginary meeting of minds; others may find the fare too esoteric."
A fictional dialogue between five seminal modern thinkers, on the thorny subject of artificial intelligence. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1998

"As a careful analysis of what's really going on, it falls short. (illustrations, not seen)"
A feel-good guide to doing business in the post-industrial age. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1998

"A story of a little known American achievement that played an essential role in containing hostilities during the Cold War. (63 b&w photos, 13 line illustrations, not seen)"
A history of the top secret CORONA spy satellite missions (not officially revealed until 1992), believed by many experts to be the most important modern development in intelligence gathering. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1998

"What he does—and does well—is convey the richness of the material world and the ingenuity of humankind in making use of it."
Remember when you learned about the Stone Age, followed by Bronze and Iron? Read full book review >
ECOVIEWS by Whit Gibbons
Released: March 25, 1998

"These are enthralling regional tidbits, the kind of stuff that makes readers yearn for more, for the big picture. (illustrations, not seen)"
Musings on the environment, particularly that of the southeastern US, delivered with an easy fireside manner, from the Gibbonses (he's author of Their Blood Runs Cold, not reviewed; she's a freelance editor). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >