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Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology Paperback – 18 Jul 2008

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Revised edition edition (18 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226594416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226594415
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 5.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 965,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"The remarkable story of the sustained human endeavour to understand our place in the universe." - Sir Bernard Lovell, author of Pathways to the Universe "A major achievement that trembles on the brink of being a masterpiece....North is well qualified to write this book: he has a lifetime of experience in the history of astronomy and a narrative style that is a pleasure to read." - Desmond King-Hele, author of Erasmus Darwin: A Life of Unequalled Achievement"

About the Author

John North is professor emeritus at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He is the author of many books, including The Measure of the Universe: A History of Modern Cosmology, The Ambassadors' Secret: Holbein and the World of the Renaissance, and, most recently, God's Clockmaker: Richard Wallingford and the Invention of Time.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every kind of detail of the history and evolution of the astronomy science is provided. Not yet finished but it's a great book. A bit bulky I must say.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Far too detailed for the lay reader. Better reading Big Bang by Simon Singh.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How humankind deciphered the sky 6 May 2014
By Pichierri Fabio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This 850+ pages book explains how humankind, from prehistoric civilizations up to the present time, read and deciphered the sky. The text reads very smoothly and entertains the reader with plenty of information about the personalities of those that contributed to establish the foundations of astronomy and cosmology. The book is very well illustrated with 247 figures and 21 color plates. The only problem with it is its brick-like size, meaning that you cannot carry it with you and read it on a train. It is a book that you should enjoy reading while sitting on a comfortable sofa at your home. As a complementary book, let me suggest Kragh's book Conceptions of Cosmos.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Super Survey of Astronomical Thought 4 Nov. 2016
By v colangelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent exposition of the origins of astronomical thought as perceived throughout history through cross cultural boundaries. Requires a high school knowledge of geometry to understand some of the author's illustrations which are not always explained in detail. Otherwise, a wonderful read which would appeal to academic researchers. It is filled a generous bibliography, footnoting and documentation.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 Nov. 2014
By David A. Espinoza G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book, it covers all the topics in the history of astronomy
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars would buy from this seller again 29 Aug. 2014
By Ghani - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
textbook. prompt delivery.
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing accomplishment 30 Sept. 2008
By Janlabe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Cosmos" is a wonderful book by one of the truly great historians of astronomy. It is easily the most comprehensive popular astronomy history ever published and is a model of clarity and scholarship. In my mind, there are two factors that set this book apart:

1. The scope of the work is comprehensive and covers astronomy from ancient times to the most modern techniques and challenges. You should scan the Table of Contents in the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon to get a feel for the range of topics presented.

2. It gracefully explains how, over time, contributions from cultures and individuals combined and evolved into the astronomical systems in use in each era and evolved into today's view of the universe.

The first half of the book deals with ancient and medieval astronomy, including not only Western cultures, but also how astronomy developed and was used in China, India and the Americas. The presentation is seamless and gives the reader a good feel for how astronomical ideas and measurements were influenced by many cultures.

The second half focuses on the evolution of astronomy as a science and how contributions from many individuals were refined and combined to create a coherent view of the universe.

It ends with a look at the research challenges facing the modern astronomer and astrophysisist.

"Cosmos" is an expanded version of North's, "Norton's History of Astronomy and Cosmology", with a large amount of additional material and is much better illustrated. It is written for an educated general audience and can serve as a "read" just for fun, a textbook or a permanent reference.

It took me rather a long time to get through the entire book as it inspired me to dig into other sources for more detailed material on some points. What more can you ask of a history book than to open doors?
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