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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From the bestselling author of "Where Good Ideas Come From," "The Ghost Map" and "Everything Bad Is Good for You," a new national bestseller: the exhilarating (" Los Angeles Times") story of Joseph Priestley, a founding father long forgotten ("Newsweek") and a brilliant man who embodied the relationship between science, religion, and politics for America's Founding Fathers.
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.

About the Author
Steven Johnson is the author of "Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, " which was named as a finalist for the 2002 Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism and was a "New York Times" Notable Book of 2001, as well as a "best book of the year" in "Discover, Esquire, The Washington Post, " and "The Village Voice." He writes the monthly "Emerging Technology" column for "Discover" and is a contributing editor at "Wired." His work has also appeared in "The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The New Yorker, Harper's, " and "The Guardian." He is also the author of "Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate." Johnson holds a B.A. in semiotics from Brown University and an M.A. in English from Columbia. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.
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