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Cosmos: The Story of Cosmic Evolution, Science and Civilisation [Paperback]

Carl Sagan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 Aug 1983
First published in 1993 and now available in paperback, an account of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution, recounting how science and civilisation grew up together and the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science.


Product details

  • Paperback: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New edition edition (11 Aug 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708819966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708819968
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 604,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sagan was Dir. of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies & David Duncan Prof. of Astronomy & Space Sciences at Cornell University.He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking & Voyage expeditions to the planets & was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for literature. He died in 1996.

Product Description

Review

** 'Enticing, imaginative, readable, iridescent (The New York TIMES) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

* The story of cosmic evolution, science and civilisation --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
In ancient times, in everyday speech and custom, the most mundane happenings were connected with the grandest cosmic events. Read the first page
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Concordance
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VOICE OF REASON, LOGIC AND RATIONALITY 1 May 2010
Format:Paperback
After more than twenty years of waiting finally I read COSMOS. You may say why? In spite of knowing there were a book called COSMOS and written by the famous astronomer. I was born in north of Iraq. My mother tongue is Kurdish and my second language is Arabic. I couldn't find translated one in my country.

So after many years straggling to learn English finally I read one of the masterpieces of a great mind. It is very well written and easy to read.

COSMOS is very inspiring book to anyone seek knowledge. I highly recommend to anyone in the world.
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting and thought provoking book. 9 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My mother bought me this book in 1981 for me and I have it to this day as a cherished possession. Carl Sagan through 'Cosmos' takes you on a journey through space and time in a fashion that is both easy to understand whilst being technically detailed. No other book or current series has come up to this one and I would thoroughly recommend the book to anyone, whether they are interested in astronomy or history or just wish an interesting read.
An enchanting and thought provoking book.
Andrew, Edinburgh, UK
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master of the Cosmos weaves his magic 3 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
In Cosmos, Sagan's triumph as a masterly writer climaxes in this universal masterpiece. The visionary scientist and writer takes us on a powerful and epic journey of discovery, awakening the imagination and stirring the spirit. Even when discussing extremely complex issues and scientific phenomena such as Einstein's theory of relativity, Sagan is able to keep us transfixed on the subject with his unique writing style which keeps readers of all persuasions and levels of experience completely interested and informed. Cosmos is a tour de force, and in my opinion goes beyond the works of people like Stephen Hawking, Marcus Chown and Patrick Moore in terms of its imaginative power and easy impartation of the facts. From beginning to end, we are inspired, enthralled and, most of all, educated. 'Cosmos' is an absolute necessity for anyone studying astronomy - novice, amateur or professional, and is great value for money because it will be read time and time again.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. 20 May 2004
Format:Paperback
After reading this book I felt I understood the significance and the insignificance of life itself, and more over life on this planet of ours. The description and explanation of the cosmos and its elements, its distances, its sizes and its continuous reaction, movement and change are inspiring. I read it again recently and even after 20 years it was as good as the first time. The writing is not too detailed to be at all boring and is well written and easy to read. I highly recommend this book to everyone with even the slightest interest in what is outside the boundary of our own planet, and even those who don't have that interest.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic 28 Jan 2011
By Josh
Format:Paperback
First published in 1983? Really? More like 2050. Cosmos has been cited by so many popular scientists, from Stephen Hawking to Brian Cox, I felt I should at least open the cover so I knew what it was about. But really... 1983?! It can't possibly be up to date with contemporary understanding or years of excellent popular science writing. What an idiot. Never dismiss something because of its age.

Carl Sagen is the Man. It turns out that every popular science book I've ever read has been inspired by Cosmos. The stories, the facts, the language... it's all in here! I wasn't expecting much from a book so old but it left me feeling short changed by all the other books I'd read. Cosmos should be required reading, not a bibliographical note.

A contemporary news story, still running as I type, concerns the Voyager I spacecraft just now leaving the solar system. The fastest man-made object ever created; the farthest distance ever travelled; and then some. Carl Sagen actually worked on this very mission at NASA nearly 40 years ago. He writes about what it was like. What it actually means to leave the solar system. The clever engineering that made it possible. The dream that created it and what it means for all of us. In every chapter you're getting so much more than somebody's retelling of a story.

Cosmos is far more than a thrilling popular science read; it is a momentous achievement. Carl Sagen gives the Cosmos entire to the future of the Human Race.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spirit of Wonder and the Wonder of Science 25 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was first introduced to Carl Sagan at the age of 6 when the series Cosmos was televised in the UK. The overwhelming sense of joy and wonder at what it is to exist, at what it really means to appreciate and understand the world around us and within us, was re-kindled periodically throughout my life and came home with a bang when I stumbled across this book over 20 years later. This is a work of tear-jerking sensitivity and intelligence. If you have ever felt the need to know why you have an inquiring mind, to read this book would be reason enough. The chapter on Kepler and Newton is something I often re-read not to refresh my scientific knowledge, but to remind myself that however bogged down in the minutae of daily life you can get, to be human is to be insirational and to be inspired.
Buy this book, if not for yourself then for your childen, and teach them how to see the wonder of existence in a way that most of us never will.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billions and Billions 21 Dec 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
How many people who watched the 'Cosmos' series on television (PBS in America - perhaps the best astronomy and general science series ever produced by them) could ever forget Carl Sagan's intonation at proclaiming the wonders of the universe in grand terms, billions and billions of stars and galaxies and planets (and consequently, everything else).
While this book was published in 1980 to be a companion to the television series, there is nonetheless a certain timelessness about it. Many science texts (even general readers such as this) become dated fairly quickly. Yet this book remains a volume to which I refer time and again for its history, philosophy and insight into scientific method and personality.
This book more than anything provided the inspiration for me to study astronomy. While I did not take a degree in it (when I arrived at university I was informed that I had already studied more than their undergraduate curriculum provided; that I should take some physics and mathematics courses and then take a Master's degree later if interested--which may happen after the my current degree progress is completed), my interest in astronomy has remained strong and permeates many of my other interests, including my current work in theology and philosophy.
The visual presentation of this book is stunning. Pictures, particularly those from telescopes, space probes, and dramatic artistic renderings of phenomena not yet captured on film give a real feel for the subject.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good general book
A good general book, but the author has some personal views which I felt he exaggerated somewhat. But on ignoring these facts it presents the information logically and is a good... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eric
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good interesting read A******
Published 1 month ago by Sue Fry
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Carl Sagan, so it's gonna be good.
Definitely a book even for people who aren't interested in science, for those who are this is a must read.
Published 1 month ago by silvia
5.0 out of 5 stars Carl Sagan
Great book excellent read very good information, A bit hard to read at times but overall 5 star rating says it all. Read more
Published 2 months ago by robert mcmillan
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as interesting today
This book is just as interesting today as when it was written. Sagan makes the universe alive and accessible. Fantastic read !
Published 3 months ago by Carol Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic book
One of the best I have ever read (and I a passionate reader). It is very hard to close this sublime and breathtaking book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Romano
5.0 out of 5 stars What A book !
What a book !
This is the ultimate science popularizing book. I have rarely read something more entertaining, clear, enthusiastic, intelligent, instructive, etc than this... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Eric le rouge
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master
Carl Sagan, in my opinion the leading scientist of his day in all things scientific related , especially relating to the Cosmos
Published 6 months ago by kaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Cosmos: The Story of Cosmic Evolution, Science and Civilisation by...
I remember th TV series of this and purchased the book at the time, but it has since gone missing.. I came across some references to it recently and thought that I would like to... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Chris Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars No brainer, what a great soothing yet eyeopening masterpiece of a...
A definite must read to all that wonder what is our place here in the universe. C.Sagan writes with great enthusiasm and skill to deliver a fantastic book that has and will chance... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Peeter Otsing
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