HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Isaac Newton by James Gleick
Loading...

Isaac Newton (2003)

by James Gleick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
901319,793 (3.65)17
Recently added byedwinbcn, private library, psmithkent, rogpal, vivianharris45, g3orgia, GyeldarB, nosajeel, Lorem

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 17 mentions

English (29)  Swedish (2)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
A first rate biography of Isaac Newton. The biography is a relatively short, standard cradle-to-grave account, with significant discussions of Newton's scientific thinking and discoveries, starting with mathematics, then optics, and finally physics -- not counting alchemy, biblical studies, and his role as master of the mint.

James Gleick puts you directly into Newton's life and world through extensive quotations from letters and other documents, all with the original spellings. In some cases, like Newton's playing with infinite sums, Gleick reproduces a facsimile of the document itself.

No scientific life I know is as full of bitter rivalries, secrecy, and a continuum from the ultra-rational to the completely irrational. Towards the end of the book Gleick quotes Keynes' apt description of Newton: "Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago." ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
I wanted to like this, but my mind kept wandering. Perhaps I already knew too much, I didn't learn anything new. ( )
  bke | Mar 30, 2014 |
As a schoolbook figure, Isaac Newton is most often pictured sitting under an apple tree, about to discover the secrets of gravity. In this short biography, James Gleick reveals the life of a man whose contributions to science and math included far more than the laws of motion for which he is generally famous. Gleick's always-accessible style is hampered somewhat by the need to describe Newton's esoteric thinking processes. After all, the man invented calculus. But readers who stick with the book will discover the amazing story of a scientist obsessively determined to find out how things worked. Working alone, thinking alone, and experimenting alone, Newton often resorted to strange methods, as when he risked his sight to find out how the eye processed images:

.... Newton, experimental philosopher, slid a bodkin into his eye socket between eyeball and bone. He pressed with the tip until he saw 'severall white darke & coloured circles'.... Almost as recklessly, he stared with one eye at the sun, reflected in a looking glass, for as long as he could bear.

From poor beginnings, Newton rose to prominence and wealth, and Gleick uses contemporary accounts and notebooks to track the genius's arc, much as Newton tracked the paths of comets. Without a single padded sentence or useless fact, Gleick portrays a complicated man whose inspirations required no falling apples ( )
  MarkBeronte | Jan 9, 2014 |
Pretty quick read gives a nice insight to Newton's life. I enjoyed it. ( )
  jessiejluna | Jun 23, 2013 |
This is not as complete a biography as I may have been craving - at times the author veers off into tangential almost poetic asides instead of telling us the who, what and why, but it left me with a feeling of insight into one of our Greatest Ever. (Can't claim to have followed all the mathematical explanations!!:-) His brilliance was astonishing; his prescience concerning posterity particularly touching. ( )
  idyll | Apr 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gleick, Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waltman, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Jag frågade honom vat någonstans han låtit göra den, och han svarade att han gjort den själv, och när jag frågade honom var han anskaffade sina verktyg, sade han att han tillverkade dem själv och tillade skrattande: om jag väntat på att andra skulle göra mina verktyg och annat åt mig, då skulle jag aldrig fått något gjort...
Dedication
Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Till Toby, Caleb, Asher och Will
First words
Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Isaac Newton sade att han hade slådat längre genom att stå på jättens axlar, men utan att själv tro på det.
Quotations
Last words
Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375422331, Hardcover)

As a schoolbook figure, Isaac Newton is most often pictured sitting under an apple tree, about to discover the secrets of gravity. In this short biography, James Gleick reveals the life of a man whose contributions to science and math included far more than the laws of motion for which he is generally famous. Gleick's always-accessible style is hampered somewhat by the need to describe Newton's esoteric thinking processes. After all, the man invented calculus. But readers who stick with the book will discover the amazing story of a scientist obsessively determined to find out how things worked. Working alone, thinking alone, and experimenting alone, Newton often resorted to strange methods, as when he risked his sight to find out how the eye processed images:

.... Newton, experimental philosopher, slid a bodkin into his eye socket between eyeball and bone. He pressed with the tip until he saw 'severall white darke & coloured circles'.... Almost as recklessly, he stared with one eye at the sun, reflected in a looking glass, for as long as he could bear.

From poor beginnings, Newton rose to prominence and wealth, and Gleick uses contemporary accounts and notebooks to track the genius's arc, much as Newton tracked the paths of comets. Without a single padded sentence or useless fact, Gleick portrays a complicated man whose inspirations required no falling apples. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:33 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"In this biography, James Gleick moves between a comprehensive historical portrait and a dramatic focus on Newton's significant letters and unpublished notebooks to illuminate the real importance of his work in physics, in optics, and in calculus. He makes us see the old intuitive, alchemical universe out of which Newton's mathematics first arose and shows us how Newton's ideas have altered all forms of understanding from history to philosophy. And he gives us an account of the conflicting impulses that pulled at this man's heart: his quiet longings, his rage, his secrecy, the extraordinary subtleties of personality that were mirrored in the invisible forces he first identified as the building blocks of science. More than biography, more than history, more than science, Isaac Newton tells us how, through the mind of one man, we have come to know our place in the cosmos."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 avail.
41 wanted
3 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.65)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 10
2.5 4
3 45
3.5 19
4 62
4.5 6
5 24

Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,360,447 books! | Top bar: Always visible