Circles: Fifty Round Trips Through History Technology Scien (Google eBook)
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Circles: Fifty Round Trips Through History Technology Science CultureUser Review - Frank - Goodreads
So far just like the series on television without the cool pics. Mr. Burkes writing is a bit hard to follow, must be the accent. Read full review
Review: Circles: Fifty Round Trips Through History Technology Science CultureUser Review - Chris Knight - Goodreads
Burke has made his mark on the field of science history by emphasizing the genuine repercussions of technological development, and in Circles he twists his usual formula right around. Emphasizing ... Read full review
The Knowledge Web: From Electronic Agents to Stonehenge and Back -- A
Limited preview - 2010
A BIT or A FLUTTER
A LoT OF BALONEY
WHAT GoEs AROUND COMES AROUND
WAVING THE FLAG
THE S i CIRCUIT
LOCAL Co oR
DOEs THs TAKE You BAc?
SToNEs AND BoNEs
ls THs EssAY NOTICEABLY DIFFERENT?
DoNT FORGET THIS
TAKE Two ACRONYMS
THE Buc STARTs HERE
AND Now THE WEATHER
ls THERE Auvsoov THERE?
WHATs IN A NAME?
A LIGHT LITTLE NUMBER
LEND ME YouR EAR
OR MAYBE N0T
A MATTER OF DEGREE
Room WITH HALF A VIEW
THE O ZONE
Other editions - View all
Circles: Fifty Round Trips Through History Technology Science Culture
Limited preview - 2003