"Exquisitely produced and painstakingly researched... Ball writes patiently and eloquently.. Exciting... A rousing call-to-arms, and an elegant answer to the shallow tradition of British empiricism." (Independent
"In his fascinating new book, Critical Mass
, Philip Ball tells the story of this research in a comprehensive and often captivating way... Ball delves far beyond today's headlines... Impressively clear and breathtaking in scope... Substantial, impeccably researched and...persuasive. For anyone who would like to learn about the intellectual ferment at the surprising junction of physics and social science, Critical Mass
is the place to start." (Nature
"Lucid, accessible and engaging... Ball makes a persuasive, comprehensive case and it's a welcome antidote to popular individualistic thought." (Glasgow Herald
"Critical Mass fizzes with ideas and insights" (The Guardian
"more than a book, this in an intellectual curiosity" (Independent on Sunday
The winner of the Aventis Prize for Science Books, this is a fascinating exploration of the age-old question: are there 'laws of nature' that guide human affairs? Is there anything inevitable about the ways humans behave and organise themselves? Do we have complete freedom in creating our societies, or are we trapped by 'human nature'?