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Cosmos Paperback – 10 Dec 2013
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Magnificent . . . With a lyrical literary style, and a range that touches almost all aspects of human knowledge, Cosmos often seems too good to be true. The Plain Dealer
Sagan is an astronomer with one eye on the stars, another on history, and a third his mind s on the human condition. Newsday
Brilliant in its scope and provocative in its suggestions . . . shimmers with a sense of wonder. The Miami Herald
Sagan dazzles the mind with the miracle of our survival, framed by the stately galaxies of space. Cosmopolitan
Enticing . . . iridescent . . . imaginatively illustrated. The New York Times Book Review"
"Magnificent . . . With a lyrical literary style, and a range that touches almost all aspects of human knowledge, Cosmos often seems too good to be true."--The Plain Dealer
"Sagan dazzles the mind with the miracle of our survival, framed by the stately galaxies of space."--Cosmopolitan "Enticing . . . iridescent . . . imaginatively illustrated."--The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Carl Sagan served as the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo spacecraft expeditions, for which he received the NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and (twice) for Distinguished Public Service.His Emmy- and Peabody-winning television series, Cosmos, became the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. The accompanying book, also called Cosmos, is one of the bestselling science books ever published in the English language. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize, the Oersted Medal, and many other awards--including twenty honorary degrees from American colleges and universities--for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment. In their posthumous award to Dr. Sagan of their highest honor, the National Science Foundation declared that his "research transformed planetary science . . . his gifts to mankind were infinite." Dr. Sagan died on December 20, 1996.
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Sagan writes majestically, explaining otherwise complex issues and problems in a manner that makes them far more easily comprehensible. Everything from the origins of the universe to the formation of galaxies, from the processes that build planets to the evolution of life, is discussed eloquently. Sagan describes the cosmos in an imaginative way, drawing-in the reader and retaining attention throughout. This is as far away as possible from a 'dry' scientific text ... instead it entices the reader's fascination and clearly shows the cosmos for what it truly is: awesome.
This is the perfect book for anyone who's interested in finding out more about physics, cosmology, astronomy and astrobiology. It's a fantastic introductory book, and is suitable for both adults and older teenagers. I've read through it a few times, and it's my favourite 'science' book. I highly recommend it.
Beautifully, passionately written. It'll capture your attention and wonder why on Earth your science teachers weren't ever that inspiring.
Turn on any TV these days and there will be channels with one of more science , history or arts programmes.
Some 26 years ago (1980) these programmes were relatively rare and a classic 13 one hour episode science programme entitled the Cosmos was presented as a personal view by one Carl Sagan ( sometime participant of various NASA space programmes and cosmological investigations then Director of Planetary studies at Cornell University) . An accompanying book to the series was also written and published. It covered right up until the Voyager mission views of Jupiter and Saturn in 1977-1979. (Voyager 2 – still active in 2016 – has just passed Pluto and left the conventional Solar system – not bad for 1975 technology. Its onboard power source – a mini nuclear reactor – should last another 10 years)
The hardback book contains both script and illustrations and can be obtained as good quality second hand ,for very reasonable prices.
A book allows stopping , pausing , thinking , reversing and rereading the text but for those who want the full visual experience ( film/TV presentation being intrinsically different to books with the sight , sounds , narration and a flowing story line to hold the attention) . The TV series had updates added some 10 years later and in 2000 , a DVD transfer was released. The TV series also featured a music soundtrack taken from “Heaven and hell” ( (Vangelis 1975) .
Obviously there have been many advances / updates in the last 30 or so years but I can still recommend both as an example of the thoughts and presentation of the times . Carl Sagan , a great communicator , sadly died in 1996
Rate 5 star as classic examples of their time covering the Cosmos ( as it seemed then) . The series ended very topically with a view of our the earth , and the threats faced by the latter - comparing the possible outcomes of irresponsible misuse of the planets resources to the planetary hell of Venus and the cold desolation of Mars.
(Note there has been a recent re casting of the original series by Neil de Grasse Tyson ( written in conjunction with Carl Sagan’s widow) – also available on DVD and Blu Ray. The content is more up to date but many still prefer the older Sagan version with less reliance on CGI.)
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