Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 17)

Released: Jan. 13, 2009

"Histories of ideas are rarely page-turners, but Werth has done the trick."
A rich, entertaining slab of Victorian American history, focused on the debate over evolution. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"Even sophisticated readers will blink as the author reveals the dazzling diversity of life, its ability to thrive in areas formerly thought barren (miles under the sea, under ice caps, under the earth's crust, in space), and the ingenuity of scientists searching for it."
Finding and naming plants, animals, bugs and germs might seem a dull scientific career, but Dunn (Zoology/North Carolina State Univ.) proves that it's the opposite in this vivid history full of colorful characters and spectacular discoveries. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"Promises to instigate a lively conversation about the origins and meaning of art, not only among the author's peers in academia, but also in the culture at large."
Pugnacious, witty and entertaining first book by prolific essayist and critic Dutton (Philosophy of Art/Univ. of Canterbury, New Zealand), who founded the influential blog Arts & Letters Daily. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 12, 2008

"A tour-de-force by a talented young author who makes a difficult subject accessible."
Fast-paced history from debut author Gilder, who employs invented but historically accurate dialogue to surprisingly good effect, revealing the personalities as well as the ideas of quantum physicists. Read full book review >
EATING THE SUN by Oliver Morton
Released: Nov. 4, 2008

"Top-notch popular-science writing."
Meticulous but always engaging account of photosynthesis, the process that makes life possible. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"A rewarding account of two scientists who not only made great discoveries but enjoyed world recognition during their long, eventful lives."
Richly detailed biography of the man who discovered the planet Uranus and partnered with his sister to lay the foundations of modern astronomy. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 20, 2008

"Eminently readable basic science with an irresistible hook."
A surprisingly upbeat look at all the ways the universe can destroy us. Read full book review >
VERSAILLES by Tony Spawforth
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"Arch, authoritative and richly descriptive."
Portrait of the evolution of French court life and politics at Versailles. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 8, 2008

"That inspiration is needed, along with a lot of hard work. A timely, rewarding book."
The world is flat, New York Times columnist Friedman told us in his bestselling 2005 book of that name. Now things are getting worse, and the clock is ticking. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"Science writing of the first order."
A fast-paced account of the early-20th-century quest to develop synthetic fertilizer. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2008

"A beguiling account of the critical role smell plays in our lives."
A scientist tells us entertaining things about odors both pleasant and foul. 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 >