In sumptuous and illuminating detail, Simon Winchester, the bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman (Elegant and scrupulous--New York Times Book Review) and Krakatoa (A mesmerizing page-turner--Time) brings to life the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China, long the world's most technologically advanced country.
No cloistered don, this tall, married Englishman was a freethinking intellectual, who practiced nudism and was devoted to a quirky brand of folk dancing. In 1937, while working as a biochemist at Cambridge University, he instantly fell in love with a visiting Chinese student, with whom he began a lifelong affair.
He soon became fascinated with China, and his mistress swiftly persuaded the ever-enthusiastic Needham to travel to her home country, where he embarked on a series of extraordinary expeditions to the farthest frontiers of this ancient empire. He searched everywhere for evidence to bolster his conviction that the Chinese were responsible for hundreds of mankind's most familiar innovations--including printing, the compass, explosives, suspension bridges, even toilet paper--often centuries before the rest of the world. His thrilling and dangerous journeys, vividly recreated by Winchester, took him across war-torn China to far-flung outposts, consolidating his deep admiration for the Chinese people.
After the war, Needham was determined to tell the world what he had discovered, and began writing his majestic Science and Civilisation in China, describing the country's long and astonishing history of invention and technology. By the time he died, he had produced, essentially single-handedly, seventeen immense volumes, marking him as the greatest one-man encyclopedist ever.
Both epic and intimate, The Man Who Loved China tells the sweeping story of China through Needham's remarkable life. Here is an unforgettable tale of what makes men, nations, and, indeed, mankind itself great--related by one of the world's inimitable storytellers.
In every legend, there is a legacy. In the life and career of undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, that legacy beats in the heart of the sea and in the heart of his son, Jean-Michel, the noted French environmentalist, educator and documentary film producer who has spent most of his adult life nurturing the work of his famous father. In My Father, The Captain, Jean-Michel Cousteau takes an open and intimate look at the life he shared with his father, and the legend he has taken it upon himself to carry. In so doing, he hopes to shed new and meaningful light on the life and work of a man who inspired millions to reconsider our relationship with the sea and its creatures-and, in the process, to understand a little more about himself and his family as well. Captain Cousteau was a complicated man, the younger Cousteau writes. He was a man of many different personalities, many different moods. But this is how it is with all great men, yes? We know the public mask, but it is the private face that reveals a man's true character. It is the man we know when the cameras are not filming. My Father, The Captain is shot-through with new material and fresh insight into the life and mind of a man who helped to jump-start a globa conservation effort that continues to flourish. Jean-Michel Cousteau an his collaborator, New York Times best-selling author Daniel Paisner, offe an intimate reappraisal of the many touchstone moments Jean-Michel share with his father, as well as the seminal moments from his father's life tha have become part of the Cousteau family lore and legend.
Famous for his pioneering contributions to the electronic age, his lifelong feud with Thomas Edison, and his erratic behavior, Nikola Tesla was one of the most brilliant and daring inventors and visionaries of his time. My Inventions is Tesla's autobiography, with meditations on his major discoveries and innovations, including the rotating magnetic field, the magnifying transmitter, and the Tesla coil. This volume also includes three articles by Tesla, as well as an enlightening introduction that discredits many of the myths surrounding the thinker's eccentric life. This rare window into the industrial age's most tragic genius will fascinate historians, scientists, aspiring inventors, and curious fans alike. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Draws on diaries, letters, and family interviews to discuss the lesser-known achievements and scientific insights of the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, documenting how she was compromised by the prejudices of a male-dominated society.
A New York Times Notable BookOne of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookPage, Slate, Men's Journal When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote: "Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far." It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks writes about the passions that have driven his life--from motorcycles and weight lifting to neurology and poetry. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists--W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick--who have influenced his work. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer, a man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.
Creates a history of human scientific achievement as revealed by the lives and individual accomplishments of such scientists as Andreas Vesalius, Nicholaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Charles Darwin, Galileo, and Gregor Mendel.
New York Times bestselling author and renowned atheist and evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins delivers an intimate look into his own childhood and intellectual development, illuminating his path to becoming one of the foremost thinkers in modern science today
"A memoir that is funny and modest, absorbing and playful. Dawkins has written a marvelous love letter to science . . . and for this, the book will touch scientists and science-loving persons . . . Enchanting." --NPR
Richard Dawkins's first book, The Selfish Gene, was an immediate sensation and dramatically shifted the study of biology by offering a gene-centered view of evolution. Published in 1976, the book transformed the way we think about genes and evolution and has sold more than a million copies. In 2006, Dawkins transformed the world's cultural and intellectual landscape again with The God Delusion, a scientific dismantling of religion. It was a New York Times bestseller and has sold more than two million copies worldwide. An Appetite for Wonder is Dawkins's insightful memoir examining his own evolution as a man and as a thinker. From his beginnings in colonial Kenya to his intellectual awakening at Oxford, Dawkins shares his path to the creation of The Selfish Gene, and offers readers an in-depth look at the man and the mind that has changed the way we view science and evolution.