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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prequal to Galileo
2009 was the International Year of Astronomy, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Galileo's use of the telescope to first observe the night skies. In particular, planets were now recognised as being worlds like our own. 2009 is also the 400th anniversary of Johannes Kepler's mathematical explanation of how the planets moved, in elliptical orbits around the sun, not the...
Published on 8 Jan 2010 by K. J. Kilburn

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another history book by a non-historian
This book is written by Jack Repcheck, who is described on the inside cover as an editor at WW Norton & Co. I am wary of non-historians writing history books, but this one did appear at first glance to be well-researched. It is full of information about the political, religious and intellectual backgrounds to Copernicus' work.

But then I came across this on...
Published on 8 April 2011 by Edward Hubbard


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prequal to Galileo, 8 Jan 2010
By 
K. J. Kilburn (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began (Hardcover)
2009 was the International Year of Astronomy, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Galileo's use of the telescope to first observe the night skies. In particular, planets were now recognised as being worlds like our own. 2009 is also the 400th anniversary of Johannes Kepler's mathematical explanation of how the planets moved, in elliptical orbits around the sun, not the earth, as previously thought for the past 1500 years. But both of these scientists owed their pursuasions to Nicholas Copernicus who, in 1543, had been the first to suggest a heliocentric planetary system (albeit with the planets moving in circular orbits)...an idea desperately close to heresay in a Catholic world-view that took the next two thirds of a century of increasingly refined observation and calculation to prove right.

Repcheck's book admirably explains Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution began, and how what started as one man's idea blossomed with the support of a handful of Central European natural philosophers in the shadow of an anti-Lutherian backlash. Well written and with copious notes and references for the researcher, this is a highly recommended read.

Kevin J Kilburn FRAS. Secretary, the Society for the History of Astronomy
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another history book by a non-historian, 8 April 2011
This review is from: Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began (Hardcover)
This book is written by Jack Repcheck, who is described on the inside cover as an editor at WW Norton & Co. I am wary of non-historians writing history books, but this one did appear at first glance to be well-researched. It is full of information about the political, religious and intellectual backgrounds to Copernicus' work.

But then I came across this on page 85: "Dantiscus became the official ambassador of the King of Poland to the Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and Charles V, and to the court of the King of Spain, Charles I". Unbelievably, Repcheck doesn't know that the Emperor Charles V and the Spanish King Charles I were one and the same person. This is not a trivial error. It is a level of historical ignorance on a par with someone writing a history of international politics in the early twentieth century without being aware that India and Britain had the same government.

If Repcheck is so ignorant of the basic facts of sixteenth-century history, how can I have any confidence in the veracity of any of the historical material in this book? I can't, of course. He has done his research, but that is not good enough because he doesn't have the background knowledge that would enable him to assess his research properly.

Unfortunately, professional historians seem reluctant to produce popular history books so the history shelves of most bookshops are filled with the outpourings of enthusiastic amateurs whom readers cannot have full confidence in.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fulfilling, 11 April 2011
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This review is from: Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began (Hardcover)
Given the helicopter perspective provided by most histories of the period, it is difficult to find much intimate history of inland Europe in the early 16th century, which enhances the value of human detail that fills this book. Attention is paid to the individuals amongst whom Copernicus moved, allowing their rapport with him to furnish you with a sense of what the man was like and the kind of political habitat that surrounded him. Since it is short and written in a fresh style - with short sentences, a natural biographical flow and no complicated technical demands made of the reader - I would argue that everyone who has used Copernicus as a search term in Amazon will enjoy it. I can't remember finishing a book so quickly.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into Copernicus and history., 23 April 2013
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This review is from: Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book very much. The way it is written had me captivated - and the history of the science was so interesting. Makes one really appreciate the breadth of knowledge in many walks of life, and the genius of Copernicus.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unexpectedly good, 6 Mar 2013
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Mr. David Edwards "gammacenturi" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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I really enjoyed this book and although I knew of Copernicus the importance of his discovery had never impacted on me. The author perhaps overstated his case but that's his perogative. Why 4 stars? Because there was too little {none} science. But a very good account of his life and times.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for Copernicus students, 15 Feb 2011
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Mr. G. L. Birkwood (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began (Hardcover)
This is a well written book that explains a lot about why Copernicus wrote "Revolutions" and the pressures he was under at the time. In short it completely puts Copernicus and his magnum opus in perspective during very troubled times. Not an easy task but one handled simply brilliantly here.
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Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began
Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began by Jack Repcheck (Hardcover - 26 Mar 2009)
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