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The Clockwork Universe
Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World
Edward Dolnick
read on July 1, 2011

Fantastic, really great book about the scientific revolution - and particularly about Isaac Newton. It's gives a lot of great historical context to his life, and then turns into a biography of Newton and goes over all his scientific accomplishments and the impact they had on the world at the time. Really well written, and very accessible. I'm sure the book would appeal more to science nerds than anyone else, but you certainly don't need to be a nerd to enjoy it.

Highlights for me were learning about The Royal Society in England (first science club ever), the true impact and scale of the black death, and learning that Newton and another guy independently both discovered calculus at the same time, but Newton got all the credit.

Author Bio:

Edward Dolnick (born November 10, 1952) is an American writer, formerly a science writer at the Boston Globe. He has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, and the Washington Post, among other publications. Dolnick's book The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece (2005)—an account of the 1994 theft, and eventual recovery, of Edvard Munch's The Scream from Norway's National Gallery in Oslo—won the 2006 Edgar Award in the Best Crime Fact category. His 2008 book, The Forger's Spell, describes the 1930-1940s forging of Johannes Vermeer paintings by a critic-detesting Dutch artist, accepted as "masterpieces" by art experts until the artist's confession and trial in 1945.