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Fireworks: Pyrotechnic Arts and Sciences in European History [Hardcover]

Simon Werrett

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Book Description

25 May 2010
Fireworks are synonymous with celebration in the twenty-first century. But pyrotechnics - in the form of rockets, crackers, wheels, and bombs - have exploded in sparks and noise to delight audiences in Europe ever since the Renaissance. Here, Simon Werrett shows that, far from being only a means of entertainment, fireworks helped foster advances in natural philosophy, chemistry, mathematics, and many other branches of the sciences. "Fireworks" brings to vibrant life the many artful practices of pyrotechnicians, as well as the elegant compositions of the architects, poets, painters, and musicians they inspired. At the same time, it uncovers the dynamic relationships that developed among the many artists and scientists who produced pyrotechnics. In so doing, the book demonstrates the critical role that pyrotechnics played in the development of physics, astronomy, chemistry and physiology, meteorology, and electrical science. Richly illustrated and drawing on a wide range of new sources, "Fireworks" takes readers back to a world where pyrotechnics were both divine and magical and reveals for the first time their vital contribution to the modernization of European ideas.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1st edition (25 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226893774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226893778
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"An excellent book. Fireworks benefits from the tremendous temporal, geographic, linguistic, and archival scope of Werrett's research. It will make a real contribution to the history of art, science, technology, and early modern Europe, not just separately but together." - Michael D. Gordin, Princeton University.

About the Author

Simon Werrett is associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Washington.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous "Fireworks" 14 Jun 2010
By Douglas Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Simon Werrett has written a fascinating book on the history of pyrotechnics that is as learned as it is accessible. After reading this book, no one will ever look up at a night sky lit by fireworks with the same eyes.
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