Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 166)

ISAAC NEWTON by Michael White
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"White effectively sets the details of Newton's career against the larger canvas of the history of ideas, and this may be the first clear exposition of the full complexity of this brilliant and enigmatic figure."
The title gives the slant of this impressive new biography, which emphasizes Newton's intellectual debt to his predecessors. Read full book review >
A SCIENCE ODYSSSEY by Charles Flowers
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"Those needing a detailed history, however, should certainly look elsewhere. (60 color, 90 b&w photos, not seen)"
This companion volume to an upcoming PBS series (to begin airing in January) offers a swiftly paced survey of many of the major scientific discoveries made over the past hundred years, including the evolution of modern physics and cosmology, the emergence of the revolutionary theory of plate tectonics, the development of airplanes, the exploration of space, and the long medical struggle to understand and control such ravaging diseases as polio, diabetes, and pellagra. Read full book review >

SPACE by Jesse Lee Kercheval
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"A familiar coming-of-age story, but punctuated by the romance and thunder of rockets entering space. (Author tour)"
A sweetly honest memoir of a girl growing up amid the glare of the rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"Ocean''—and, thanks to the author's down-to-earth style, a pleasure to read."
A fact-finding tour of troubled waters. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"Silver has given us one of the most stimulating overviews of science in recent years. (illustrations, not seen)"
This pleasing volume undertakes—with considerable success- -to chart the broad history of science from the Renaissance to the end of the 20th century. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"In sum, lots of good ideas, telling examples, and even amusing trivia that point to the importance of math, yet without revealing how mathematicians work. (line art)"
A short paean to mathematics in the vein of Cole's earlier volume, Sympathetic Vibrations (1984), which explored creativity, art, and beauty in relation to physics. Read full book review >
ORIGINS by Hubert Reeves
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

"A useful though not especially deep summary of the current state of knowledge in three key areas of science."
A series of interviews with three French-based scientists presents current theories on the origins of the world we see around us, of life itself, and of our own species. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 17, 1997

"Even if one cares little for Gleiser's spiritual asides, this is an exceptionally clear summary of 2,500 years of science and a fascinating account of the ways in which it often does intersect with spiritual beliefs. (30 b&w drawings, not seen)"
An attempt to bridge the gap between spiritual and scientific inquiries into the nature and origins of the universe, from a physics professor at Dartmouth. Read full book review >
THE SECRET MESA by Jo Ann Shroyer
Released: Nov. 14, 1997

"A solid piece of reporting on a little-viewed corner of national life."
A thorough, sometimes unsettling look at the culture of nuclear science. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 12, 1997

"Perhaps because Krauss shares the public's affection for the pop sources he consults, his book will entertain and instruct general readers without insulting the scientifically literate. ($75,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
Many scientists say that reading science fiction inspired them to launch their careers. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"It should be especially good for young people."
One is tempted to say this book tells you everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask—except that no one is afraid to ask these days, and we are all but surfeited by the amount of public telling. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

The origins of humankind have inspired endless speculation in myth, religion, philosophy, and science. 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 >