The definitive biography of Tsien Hsue-Shen, the pioneer of the American space age who was mysteriously accused of being a communist, deported, and became--to America's continuing chagrin--the father of the Chinese missile program.
"Ambitious and readable . . . an engaging introduction to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as true humanists helping to release mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism."
--The New York Times
"An extraordinarily entertaining and informative book."
--The Wall Street Journal
"A lively panoramic book . . . Against the Gods sets up an ambitious premise and then delivers on it."
"Deserves to be, and surely will be, widely read."
" A] challenging book, one that may change forever the way people think about the world."
"No one else could have written a book of such central importance with so much charm and excitement."
--Robert Heilbroner author, The Worldly Philosophers
"With his wonderful knowledge of the history and current manifestations of risk, Peter Bernstein brings us Against the Gods. Nothing like it will come out of the financial world this year or ever. I speak carefully: no one should miss it."
--John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University
In this unique exploration of the role of risk in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the notion of bringing risk under control is one of the central ideas that distinguishes modern times from the distant past. Against the Gods chronicles the remarkable intellectual adventure that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers by means of the powerful tools of risk management that are available to us today.
"An extremely readable history of risk."
"Fascinating . . . this challenging volume will help you understand the uncertainties that every investor must face."
"A singular achievement."
--Times Literary Supplement
"There's a growing market for savants who can render the recondite intelligibly-witness Stephen Jay Gould (natural history), Oliver Sacks (disease), Richard Dawkins (heredity), James Gleick (physics), Paul Krugman (economics)-and Bernstein would mingle well in their company."
In 1996, Alan Sokal published an essay in the hip intellectual magazine Social Text parodying the scientific but impenetrable lingo of contemporary theorists. Here, Sokal teams up with Jean Bricmont to expose the abuse of scientific concepts in the writings of today's most fashionable postmodern thinkers. From Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva to Luce Irigaray and Jean Baudrillard, the authors document the errors made by some postmodernists using science to bolster their arguments and theories. Witty and closely reasoned, Fashionable Nonsense dispels the notion that scientific theories are mere "narratives" or social constructions, and explored the abilities and the limits of science to describe the conditions of existence.
Using 100s of fascinating examples, James Burke shows how old established ideas in science and technology often lead to serendipitous and amazing modern discoveries and innovations.
The history and concepts of physics, including quantum mechanics and relativity theory, are viewed within the framework of Eastern thought to unravel the mysteries of the physical universe
During the great ages of exploration "the longitude problem" was the greatest of scientific challenges. Lacking the ability to determine their longitude, sailors were literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Ships ran aground on rocky shores; those traveling welt-known routes were easy prey to pirates.
In 1714, England's Parliament offered a huge reward to anyone whose method of measuring longitude could be proven successful. The scientific establishment -- from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton -- had mapped the heavens in its certainty of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution -- a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had been able to do on land. And the race was on.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking's book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin--and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending--or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends? Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and "arrows of time," of the big bang and a bigger God--where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.
The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir that inspired the film October Sky, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir--a powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the dawn of the 1960s, of a mother's love and a father's fears, of a group of young men who dreamed of launching rockets into outer space . . . and who made those dreams come true.With the grace of a natural storyteller, NASA engineer Homer Hickam paints a warm, vivid portrait of the harsh West Virginia mining town of his youth, evoking a time of innocence and promise, when anything was possible, even in a company town that swallowed its men alive. A story of romance and loss, of growing up and getting out, Homer Hickam's lush, lyrical memoir is a chronicle of triumph--at once exquisitely written and marvelously entertaining. Now with 8 pages of photographs. A number-one New York Times bestseller in mass market, brought to the screen in the acclaimed film October Sky, Homer Hickam's memoir, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, comes to trade paperback with an all-new photo insert. One of the most beloved bestsellers in recent years, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir. A powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the end of the 1950s, it is the story of a mother's love and a father's fears, of growing up and getting out. With the grace of a natural storyteller, Homer Hickam looks back after a distinguished NASA career to tell his own true story of growing up in a dying coal town and of how, against the odds, he made his dreams of launching rockets into outer space come true. A story of romance and loss and a keen portrait of life at an extraordinary point in American history, Rocket Boys is a chronicle of triumph.