The enthralling biography of the shepherd boy who changed the world with his revolutionary engineering and whose genius we still benefit from today. Thomas Telford's name is familiar, his story less so. Thomas was born in 1757 in the Scottish Borders; his father died in Thomas' infancy, plunging the family into poverty. Telford's life soared to span almost eight decades of gloriously obsessive, prodigiously productive energy. Few people have done more to shape our nation.
I hate every wave of the ocean', the seasick Charles Darwin wrote to his family during his five-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle. It was this world-wide journey, however, that launched the scientists career.
"You'll never get bored!"
Nikola Tesla was a major contributor to the electrical revolution that transformed daily life at the turn of the 20th century. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity, and contributed to the development of radio and television. Like his competitor Thomas Edison, Tesla was one of America's first celebrity scientists, enjoying the company of New York high society and dazzling the likes of Mark Twain with his electrical demonstrations. An astute self-promoter and gifted showman, he cultivated a public image of the eccentric genius.
"Interesting, lots of things I did not know"
"I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer," John Muir wrote. "Civilization and fever and all the morbidness that has been hooted at me has not dimmed my glacial eye, and I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness. My own special self is nothing". In Donald Worster's magisterial biography, John Muir's "special self" is fully explored as is his extraordinary ability, then and now, to get others to see the sacred beauty of the natural world.
"When one tugs at a single thing in nature,"
All the Rave reveals the family betrayal, greed, and mismanagement that hijacked one the most fundamental innovations of the Internet era.
Named one of the three best books of 2003 by Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., All the Rave has been out of print until now and unavailable in most electronic formats. Author and veteran technology journalist Joseph Menn also wrote 2010's Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords who are Bringing Down the Internet.
"Great (and surprising) story of Napster"
In little more than half a decade, Facebook has gone from a dorm-room novelty to a company with 500 million users. It is one of the fastest growing companies in history, an essential part of the social life not only of teenagers but hundreds of millions of adults worldwide. As Facebook spreads around the globe, it creates surprising effects, even becoming instrumental in political protests from Colombia to Iran.
"Interesting and informative"
Combining elements of Rocket Boys and Elegant Universe, Time Traveler follows Mallett's discovery of Einstein's work on space-time, his study of Godel's work on a solution of Einstein's equation that might allow for time travel, and his own research in theoretical physics spanning 30 years that culminated in his recent discovery of the effects of circulating laser light and its application to time travel.
"Now I get it ?"
By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only 24, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science's greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries.
"This is truly science :)"
Christmas, 1859. Just one month after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received an unsettling letter. He had expected criticism; in fact, letters were arriving daily, most expressing outrage and accusations of heresy. But this letter was different. It accused him of failing to acknowledge his predecessors, of taking credit for a theory that had already been discovered by others. Darwin realized that he had made an error in omitting from Origin of Species any mention of his intellectual forebears.
"A great story wrecked by the wrong reader"
Three years ago, 32-year-old Markus "Notch" Persson of Stockholm was an unknown and bored computer programmer. Today, he is a multi-millionaire international icon. Minecraft, the "virtual Lego" game Markus crafted in his free time, has become one of the most talked about activities since Tetris. Talked about by tens of millions of people, in fact.It is the story of unlikely success, fast money, and the power of digital technology to rattle an empire. And it is about creation, exclusion, and the feeling of not fitting in.
Alan Mathison Turing. Mathematician, philosopher, codebreaker, a founder of computer science, and the father of Artificial Intelligence, Turing was one of the most original thinkers of the last century - and the man whose work helped create the computer-driven world we now inhabit. But he was also an enigmatic figure, deeply reticent yet also strikingly naive. Turing's openness about his homosexuality at a time when it was an imprisonable offense ultimately led to his untimely death at the age of only 41.
"Short but succinct and intriguing"
Alan Turing was an extraordinary man who crammed into a life of only 42 years the careers of mathematician, codebreaker, computer scientist and biologist. He is widely regarded as a war hero grossly mistreated by his unappreciative country, and it has become hard to disentangle the real man from the story. It is easy to cast him as a misfit, the stereotypical professor.
"Accessible Turing biography."
In My Life as a Quant, Emanuel Derman relives his exciting journey as one of the first high-energy particle physicists to migrate to Wall Street. Derman details his adventures in this fieldanalyzing the incompatible personas of traders and quants, and discussing the dissimilar nature of knowledge in physics and finance. Throughout this tale, he also reflects on the appropriate way to apply the refined methods of physics to the hurly-burly world of markets.
"Quirky but thoughtful"
Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and best-selling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals - also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the he chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded.
Martin Gardner wrote the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American for twenty-five years and published more than seventy books on topics as diverse as magic, philosophy, religion, pseudoscience, and Alice in Wonderland.
Everyone recognises the famous physicist with the wild, white hair. But what sort of person was the young Albert Einstein, before he became universally acclaimed as the archetypal genius? And how did his genius unfold? In this brilliant new Kindle Single, scientist Robyn Arianrhod blends biography with popular science to tell the story of how young Albert developed a theory that - unknown to him at first - contained the seeds of his extraordinary equation E = mc2.
"Enlightening and informative."
When Peter Piot was in medical school, a professor warned, "There's no future in infectious diseases. They've all been solved." Fortunately, Piot ignored him, and the result has been an exceptional, adventure-filled career. In the 1970s, as a young man, Piot was sent to Central Africa as part of a team tasked with identifying a grisly new virus. Crossing into the quarantine zone on the most dangerous missions, he studied local customs to determine how this disease - the Ebola virus - was spreading. Later, Piot found himself in the field again when another mysterious epidemic broke out: AIDS.
"An interesting book but"
For film aficionados, Walter Murch is legendary - a three-time Academy Award winner, arguably the most admired sound and film editor in the world for his work on Apocalypse Now, The Godfather trilogy, The English Patient, and many others. Outside of the studio, his mind is wide-ranging; his passion, pursued for several decades, has been astrophysics, in particular the rehabilitation of Titius-Bode, a long-discredited 18th century theory regarding the patterns by which planets and moons array themselves in gravitational systems across the universe.
Get up close and personal with science as Andrew Kessler narrates his hilarious journey inside NASA's Phoenix Mars mission - a historic enterprise manned by a motley crew of rocket scientists. The Phoenix Mars mission was the first man-made probe ever sent to the Martian arctic.
From his childhood in Waco, Texas, where he took expert care of nine small cousins while the adults ate Sunday lunch, to Princeton and an offer from Broadway, to medical and psychoanalytic training, to the exquisite observations into newborn behavior that led babies to be seen in an entirely new light, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton's life has been one of innovation and caring. Known internationally for the Touchpoints theory of regression and growth in infants and young children, Brazelton is also credited for bringing the insights of child development into pediatrics, and for his powerful advocacy in Congress.
South African-born Elon Musk is the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Musk wants to save our planet; he wants to send citizens into space, to form a colony on Mars; he wants to make money while doing these things; and he wants us all to know about it. He is the real-life inspiration for the Iron Man series of films starring Robert Downey, Jr. The personal tale of Musk's life comes with all the trappings one associates with a great, drama-filled story.
"Great insight into Musk's worldview"
In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Walter Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, this is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.
"A fascinating insight into a flawed genius"
In 1957, four years before his death, Carl Gustav Jung, psychiatrist and psychologist, began writing his life story. But what started as an exercise in autobiography soon morphed into an altogether more profound undertaking.
"'Two souls in his breast'"
With his characteristic eyebrow-raising behavior, Richard P. Feynman once provoked the wife of a Princeton dean to remark, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" But the many scientific and personal achievements of this Nobel Prize-winning physicist are no laughing matter. Here, woven with his scintillating views on modern science, Feynman relates the defining moments of his accomplished life.
Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in history - Doom and Quake - until the games they made tore them apart. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry.
"A must read for 90s gamers"
Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America's manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. As a flight director in NASA's Mission Control, Kranz witnessed firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He endured the disastrous first years when rockets blew up and the United States seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race.
"Interesting for the enthusiast"
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology.
"Nice to finally know the full story..."
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast; there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story.
"interesting story but was hoping for more"
In this compelling memoir, Jane Hawking relates the inside story of her extraordinary marriage. As Stephen's academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of motor neurone disease, and Jane's candid account of trying to balance his 24-hour care with the needs of their growing family is inspirational. This is a book about optimism, love and change that will resonate with listeners everywhere.
We all think we know who Steve Jobs was, what made him tick, and what made him succeed. Yet the single most important question about him has never been answered. The young, impulsive, egotistical genius was ousted in the mid-'80s from the company he founded, exiled from his own kingdom and cast into the wilderness. Yet he returned a decade later to transform the ailing Apple into the most successful company the world had ever seen.
"Compared to Isaacson's biog? Maybe not. Read on..."
Sigmund Freud revolutionized the way in which we think about ourselves. From its beginnings as a theory of neurosis Freud developed psychoanalysis into a general psychology, which became widely accepted as the predominant mode of discussing personality and interpersonal relationships. Anthony Storr goes one step further and investigates the status of Freud's legacy today and the disputes that surround it.
"Informative and good to listen to"
Their story takes us through a maze of dead ends and exhilarating breakthroughs as they and their colleagues wrestle not only with the abstraction of code but with the unpredictability of human behavior, especially their own. Along the way, we encounter black holes, turtles, snakes, dragons, axe-sharpening, and yak-shaving - and take a guided tour through the theories and methods, both brilliant and misguided, that litter the history of software development, from the famous "mythical man-month" to Extreme Programming.
"Really enjoyed but probably not for everyone"
In 2013, the New York Times published an obituary for Yvonne Brill. It began: "She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job, and took eight years off from work to raise three children." It wasn't until the second paragraph that readers discovered why the Times had devoted several hundred words to her life.
Widely considered the greatest genius of all time, Albert Einstein revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos with his general theory of relativity and helped to lead us into the atomic age. Yet in the final decades of his life he was also ignored by most working scientists, his ideas opposed by even his closest friends. This stunning downfall can be traced to Einstein's earliest successes and to personal qualities that were at first his best assets.
When it comes to economics and economic theory, a few thinkers dominate the landscape. Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall, John Maynard Keynes, and a handful of others have shaped the world of economics and influenced our lives. These 10 lectures acquaint you with the thoughts, theories, and lives of these great economists.
Everywhere he goes, crowds gather to meet Buzz Aldrin. He's a world-class hero, a larger-than-life figurehead, and the best known of a generation of astronauts whose achievements surged in just a few years from first man in space to first men on the moon. Now he pauses to reflect on and share what he has learned, from the vantage point not only of outer space but also of time: Still a nonstop traveler and impassioned advocate for space exploration, Aldrin will be 86 in 2016.
"Like thinking big?"
The All-American Boys is a no-holds-barred candid memoir by a former Marine jet jockey and physicist who became NASA's second civilian astronaut. Walter Cunningham presents the astronauts in all their strengths and their weaknesses in this dramatically revised and totally updated edition of a book that was considered an instant classic in its first edition over two decades ago.
"Starts off well, deteriorates into a ramble"