Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science

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9780062288431: Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science

In this hugely entertaining sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins delves deeply into his bravura intellectual life spent kick-starting new conversations about science, culture, and religion and writing yet another of the most audacious and widely read books of the twentieth century The God DelusionCalled "one of the best nonfiction writers alive today" (Steven Pinker) and a "prize-fighter" (Nature), Richard Dawkins cheerfully and mischievously looks back on a lifetime of tireless intellectual adventure and engagement. Exploring the halls of scholarly inquiry and stardom he encountered after the publication of his seminal work, The Selfish Gene, he affectionately lampoons the worlds of academia, publishing, and television and studs the pages with funny stories about the great men and women he's known including Douglas Adams, Christopher Hitchens, John Maynard Smith, Dame Miriam Rothschild, Nathan Myhrvold, Richard Leakey, Carolyn Porco, and Philip Pullman. Dawkins offers here a candid look both at what encouraged him to shift his attention from the laboratory to the intersection of culture, religion, and science and at many of the primary figures in the merger between scientific and literary fields known to some as "The Third Culture."On the publication of his tenth book, the smash hit The God Delusion, a "resounding trumpet blast for truth" (Matt Ridley), Dawkins was catapulted from mere intellectual stardom into a circle of celebrity thinkers dubbed "The Four Horsemen," which included Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. Shedding new light on the book's publication and content, Dawkins makes clear the boundary between literary assault and literary satire. Brief Candle in the Dark allows the reader a closer look at the brilliant succession of influential books that grew naturally out of his busy life, highlighting the ideas that connect them and excavating their origins.Throughout, Dawkins shares wit

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In An Appetite for Wonder Richard Dawkins brought us his engaging memoir of the first 35 years of his life from early childhood in Africa to publication of The Selfish Gene in 1976, when he shot to fame as one of the most exciting new scientists of his generation. In Brief Candle in the Dark he continues his autobiography, following the threads that have run through the second half of his life so far and homing in on the key individuals, institutions and ideas that inspired and motivated him.

He paints a vivid picture, coloured with wit, anecdote and digression, of the twenty-five postgraduate years he spent teaching at Oxford. He pays affectionate tribute to past colleagues and students, recalling with characteristic wry humour the idiosyncrasies of an establishment steeped in ancient tradition and arcane ritual while also recording his respect for the profound commitment to learning and discovery that lies at its core. He invites us to share the life of a travelling scientist, from fieldwork on the Panama Canal to conferences of stratospheric eminence in exotic locations in the company of some of the most prominent – and some of the most eccentric – of the world’s scientific luminaries. And he describes his experiences with his many publishers, television producers, interviewers and partners in debate, not least in the heady period when, after publication of The God Delusion in 2006, he is dubbed the world’s most outspoken and controversial atheist.

Most important of all, for the first time he reviews with fresh and stimulating insights the evolving narrative of his ideas about science over the course of his highly distinguished career as thinker, teacher and writer. In Brief Candle in the Dark we are invited to enter with him a constantly stimulating world of discovery and to meet a fascinating cast of exceptional characters described by the talented pen of one of the most exceptional of them all.

Review:

This is the Richard Dawkins I have come to know and respect as a friend, colleague, and fellow traveler. For those who want some insight into the true nature of the man behind The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, this book is sure to please, and perhaps surprise. --Lawrence M. Krauss is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist and the author of bestselling books including The Physics of Star Trek, and A Universe from Nothing. He co-starts with Richard Dawkins in the film The Unbelievers."

Richard always writes like he s telling you a story, which is why so many of us non-science people understand science better than we used to. But when the story is his own life, it s doubly compelling. --Bill Maher"

Brief Candle in the Dark provides so many pleasures: the searing clarity of scientific insights and explanations; the depth of wit and width of erudition; a prose which can soar to poetry while never losing its accuracy; an inspired delight in the beauty of nature s ways. --Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away"

Brief Candle in the Dark gives future historians [Dawkins ] pathway to greatness that begins with the publication of his monumental The Selfish Gene and climaxes with the book that may do more to elevate atheism to a legitimate position than any that came before, whose impact reverberates still. --Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist at Scientific American, author of The Moral Arc"

Sometimes funny, sometimes fascinating, and always interesting, Dawkins takes us through his later years, revealing the humanity behind the man like never before. Brief Candle in the Dark reminds us, warmly and eloquently, that the greatest accomplishments are achieved when science is bolstered by good will and kindness. --David Silverman, President of American Atheists, Inc."

In Brief Candle in the Dark, Dawkins takes us through a journey of anecdotes and conversations with world-class scientists and thinkers. You don t have to be a scientist to appreciate how deeply Dawkins loves interpreting science for the rest of us in this remarkable book about his own life. --Herb Silverman is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, founder and president of the Secular Coalition for America, and author of Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt."

Readers of Brief Candle are in for many treats: lively prose from one of our greatest living writers; stimulating ideas on the nature of life and the human condition; and the opportunity to eavesdrop on the workings of an extraordinary mind, intellectually fierce yet personally generous. --Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct and The Better Angels of Our Nature"

...fascinating, thoroughly readable, and joyful. . . . Dawkins offers great insight into the nature of science and introduces readers to many of the major players responsible for creating the field of evolutionary biology. --Publishers Weekly"

Displays all the intelligence, insight, clear-thinking, literary quality, and at time provocative observations we have come to expect from Dawkins. --Skeptical Inquirer"

. . . a jam-packed memoir by a brilliant, complex, and contradictory man. . . . What makes Candle a page-turner is Dawkins engaging, conversational style and hilarious anecdotes. --Philadelphia Inquirer"

If anyone in modern science deserves to regard his or her own contribution with pride, even with triumph, it is Richard Dawkins Vastly illuminating. --New York Times Book Review"

Filled with delight. . . . He gives full credit to collaborators, shares of his loves as well as his sorrows, and adds a wealth of interesting details about the inspiration for his books and his popular writing s relationship to his purely scientific work. --Oregonian"

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 229 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this hugely entertaining sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins delves deeply into his intellectual life spent kick-starting new conversations about science, culture, and religion and writing yet another of the most audacious and widely read books of the twentieth century--The God Delusion. Called one of the best nonfiction writers alive today (Stephen Pinker) and a prize-fighter (Nature), Richard Dawkins cheerfully, mischievously, looks back on a lifetime of tireless intellectual adventure and engagement. Exploring the halls of intellectual inquiry and stardom he encountered after the publication of his seminal work, The Selfish Gene; affectionately lampooning the world of academia, publishing, and television; and studding the pages with funny stories about the great men and women he s known, Dawkins offers a candid look at the events and ideas that encouraged him to shift his attention to the intersection of culture, religion, and science. He also invites the reader to look more closely at the brilliant succession of ten influential books that grew naturally out of his busy life, highlighting the ideas that connect them and excavating their origins. On the publication of his tenth book, the smash hit, The God Delusion, a resounding trumpet blast for truth (Matt Ridley), Richard Dawkins was catapulted from mere intellectual stardom into a circle of celebrity thinkers dubbed, The New Atheists --including Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. Throughout A Brief Candle in the Dark, Dawkins shares with us his infectious sense of wonder at the natural world, his enjoyment of the absurdities of human interaction, and his bracing awareness of life s brevity: all of which have made a deep imprint on our culture. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062288431

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 229 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this hugely entertaining sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins delves deeply into his intellectual life spent kick-starting new conversations about science, culture, and religion and writing yet another of the most audacious and widely read books of the twentieth century--The God Delusion. Called one of the best nonfiction writers alive today (Stephen Pinker) and a prize-fighter (Nature), Richard Dawkins cheerfully, mischievously, looks back on a lifetime of tireless intellectual adventure and engagement. Exploring the halls of intellectual inquiry and stardom he encountered after the publication of his seminal work, The Selfish Gene; affectionately lampooning the world of academia, publishing, and television; and studding the pages with funny stories about the great men and women he s known, Dawkins offers a candid look at the events and ideas that encouraged him to shift his attention to the intersection of culture, religion, and science. He also invites the reader to look more closely at the brilliant succession of ten influential books that grew naturally out of his busy life, highlighting the ideas that connect them and excavating their origins. On the publication of his tenth book, the smash hit, The God Delusion, a resounding trumpet blast for truth (Matt Ridley), Richard Dawkins was catapulted from mere intellectual stardom into a circle of celebrity thinkers dubbed, The New Atheists --including Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. Throughout A Brief Candle in the Dark, Dawkins shares with us his infectious sense of wonder at the natural world, his enjoyment of the absurdities of human interaction, and his bracing awareness of life s brevity: all of which have made a deep imprint on our culture. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062288431

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