The Clockwork Universe
Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World
By Edward Dolnick
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061719523, 416pp.)
Publication Date: February 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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In a world of chaos and disease, one group of driven, idiosyncratic geniuses envisioned a universe that ran like clockwork. They were the Royal Society, the men who made the modern world.
At the end of the seventeenth century, sickness was divine punishment, astronomy and astrology were indistinguishable, and the worlds most brilliant, ambitious, and curious scientists were tormented by contradiction. They believed in angels, devils, and alchemy yet also believed that the universe followed precise mathematical laws that were as intricate and perfectly regulated as the mechanisms of a great clock.
The Clockwork Universe captures these monolithic thinkers as they wrestled with natures most sweeping mysteries. Award-winning writer Edward Dolnick illuminates the fascinating personalities of Newton, Leibniz, Kepler, and others, and vividly animates their momentous struggle during an era when little was known and everything was newbattles of will, faith, and intellect that would change the course of history itself.
Edward Dolnick is the author of Down the Great Unknown, The Forgers Spell, and the Edgar Award-winning The Rescue Artist. A former chief science writer at the Boston Globe, he lives with his wife near Washington, D.C.
“Dolnick’s book is lively and the characters are vivid.”
-New York Times Book Review
“A character-rich, historical narrative.”
-Wall Street Journal
“Edward Dolnick’s smoothly written history of the scientific revolution tells the stories of the key players and events that transformed society.”
“An engrossing read.”
“A lively account of early science. . . . Colorful, entertainingly written and nicely paced.”
“[Dolnick] offers penetrating portraits of the geniuses of the day . . . who offer fertile ground for entertaining writing. [He] has an eye for vivid details in aid of historical recreation, and an affection for his subjects . . . [An] informative read.”
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org