The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe (Compass)

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9780140192469: The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe (Compass)

An extraordinary history of humanity's changing vision of the universe. In this masterly synthesis, Arthur Koestler cuts through the sterile distinction between 'sciences' and 'humanities' to bring to life the whole history of cosmology from the Babylonians to Newton. He shows how the tragic split between science and religion arose and how, in particular, the modern world-view replaced the medieval world-view in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. He also provides vivid and judicious pen-portraits of a string of great scientists and makes clear the role that political bias and unconscious prejudice played in their creativity.

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About the Author:

Arthur Koestler (1905–1983) was an extraordinary polymath, writer, and political polemicist. His most famous works include the novels Darkness at Noon and Arrival and Departure; his autobiographical writings, including Spanish Testament and Scum of the Earth; and his visionary nonfiction, including The Ghost in the Machine, The Case of the Midwife Toad, and The Sleepwalkers.

Herbert Butterfield was an influencial historiographer born in 1900 in Yorkshire, England. A graduate of Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, he is best known for his 1931 work The Whig Interpretation of History. He died in 1979.

Review:

The Sleepwalkers is a valuable and provocative book . . . a work with a noble aim * Sunday Times * The greatest part of this massive work is a close and valuable study of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo . . . He writes tensely, with passion, as though personally involved, about events that took place more than 300 years ago * The Times *

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