The Invention of Air
A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America
By Steven Johnson
(Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781594484018, 304pp.)
Publication Date: September 2009
List Price: $16.00*
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In "The Invention of Air," national bestselling author Steven Johnson tells the fascinating story of Joseph Priestley--scientist and theologian, protege of Benjamin Franklin, friend of Thomas Jefferson--an eighteenth-century radical thinker who played pivotal roles in the invention of ecosystem science, the discovery of oxygen, the uses of oxygen, scientific experimentation, the founding of the Unitarian Church, and the intellectual development of the United States. As he did so masterfully in "The Ghost Map," Steven Johnson uses a dramatic historical story to explore themes that have long engaged him: innovative strategies, intellectual models, and the way new ideas emerge and spread, and the environments that foster these breakthroughs.