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Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorcerer ? Alchemist ? Physicist? Lunatic!, 1 Oct. 2000
This review is from: Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Paperback)
Approaching this subject with a preconception of Newton on a pedestal as a demi-god, I felt both let-down and uplifted...
Let-down by Newton, because the book gives such an insight into the devious, underhand methods he used and how he would ride rough-shod over anyone in the way of his ideas.... Also, I fail to understand how such an intelligent man could swallow all the Alchemical drivel of the time - thousands of years of experimentation and still nobody discovered the Philosopher's Stone... that should have rung a warning bell!
Uplifted, because Mr White never lets you become bogged-down in the details of the subject - he injects another perspective at the right moment, letting you see that our 'demi-god' is as fallible as the rest of us. Also enlightening was the fact that Newton was 'in charge' of the Royal Mint at its most crucial point in history.... without his intervention, the British economy could have slid into irrecoverable bankruptcy.
Early on we get a glimpse of Newton's leanings (both emotionally and experimentally) and this is elaborated on to give a rounded profile of the man. Given all the pies he had a finger in; the challenges he set himself; and the physical and emotional deprivations he went through, it's surprising that he didn't end up totally insane. We see him on the brink of it, throwing all his principles out of the window, back-stabbing his 'colleagues' and alienating himself by his strange behaviour.
A damned good read.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Oct 2013 19:17:45 BDT
Douglas Wood says:
Well, which is it: 4 stars or 5?

Douglas
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Location: Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK

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