A Life in the Cosmos
By William Poundstone
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805057669, 496pp.)
Publication Date: October 1999
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Scientists - General
The first biography of the best-known scientist of his generation and the author of the best-seller Cosmos.
In this, the first full-scale examination of the life of Carl Sagan, award-winning science writer William Poundstone details the transformation of a bookish young astronomer obsessed with life on other worlds into science's first authentic media superstar. As a fixture on television and a bestselling author, Sagan became instantly recognizable. To people around the world, he offered entrée into the mysteries of the cosmos and of science in general. To much of the scientific community, though, he was something of a pariah, a brazen publicity seeker who cared more about his image and his fortune than the advancement of science. Poundstone reveals the seldom-discussed aspects of Sagan's life, the legitimate and important work of his early scientific career, the almost obsessive capacity to take on less projects, the multiple marriages and fractured tumultuous personal life-all essential elements of this complicated and extraordinary man, truly the first and most famous scientist of the media age.
William Poundstone has been twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Among his seven books are The Recursive Universe, Labyrinths of Reason, and Big Secrets. He has also written extensively for network television and major magazines. He lives in Los Angeles.