50 Round Trips Through History, Technology, Science, Culture

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
The author examines the world of technology in a series of essays that originally appeared in his popular "Scientific American" column, examining everything from hypnotism to electromagnetic fields.

& Taylor

The best-selling author of The Knowledge Web examines the world of technology in a series of essays that originally appeared in his popular Scientific American column, examining everything from hypnotism to electromagnetic fields. 30,000 first printing.

Simon and Schuster
From the bestselling author of The Knowledge Web come fifty mesmerizing journeys into the history of technology, each following a chain of consequential events that ends precisely where it began. Whether exploring electromagnetic fields, the origin of hot chocolate, or DNA fingerprinting, these essays -- which originally appeared in James Burke's popular Scientific American column -- all illustrate the serendipitous and surprisingly circular nature of change. In "Room with (Half) a View," for instance, Burke muses about the partly obscured railway bridge outside his home on the Thames. Thinking of the bridge engineer, who also built the steamship that laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable, causes him to recall Samuel Morse; which, in turn, conjures up Morse's neighbor, firearms inventor Sam Colt, and his rival, Remington. One dizzying connection after another leads to Karl Marx's daughter, who attended Socialist meetings with a trombonist named Gustav Holst, who once lived in the very house that blocks Burke's view of the bridge on the Thames. Burke's essays all evolve in this organic manner, highlighting the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated events and innovations. Romantic poetry leads to brandy distillation; tonic water connects through Leibniz to the first explorers to reach the North Pole. Witty, instructive, and endlessly entertaining, Circles expands on the trademark style that has captivated James Burke fans for years. This unique collection is sure to stimulate and delight history buffs, technophiles, and anyone else with a healthy intellectual curiosity.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2000
ISBN: 9780743200080
Branch Call Number: 609 BUR
Characteristics: 286 p. ; 24 cm


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Mar 10, 2011

By James Burke. Not James Lee Burke


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