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Mendeleyev's Dream: The Quest for the Elements Hardcover – 25 May 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd; 1st edition (25 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024114065X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241140659
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.9 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 860,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

On a wintry February day in 1869 the great Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev fell asleep at his desk after a marathon game of patience. When he woke, he looked at the delicately logical arrangement of the cards and saw the solution to a problem that had been vexing him for years: how to tabulate all the known different chemicals in a rational, coherent and meaningful way.

But how did he get there, intellectually? Was he just a dwarf standing on the shoulder of giants? Or uniquely gifted? On the basis of the facts and anecdotes Strathern skilfully weaves together here, the whole historical drama of chemical science, from the Four Elements of the Greeks, through the gold-hunting alchemy of the Arabs, to the near-misses (Phlogiston) of the Enlightenment, had been a kind of narrative prologue, building up to that seminal February day in Moscow and Mendeleyev's discovery of the Periodic Table.

Strathern's style is polished, lucid and easy-going. It is also extremely well matched to the fascinating story adduced in this absorbing and enlightening book.--Sean Thomas

About the Author

Paul Strathern studied physics, chemistry and maths at Trinity College, Dublin, before switching to philosophy. He is author of several novels, including A Season in Abyssinia, which won the Somerset Maugham prize, and two successful series - Philosophy in 90 Minutes and The Big Idea: Scientists Who Changed the World. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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VINE VOICEon 16 June 2000
Format: Hardcover
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on 4 August 2002
Format: Paperback
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 December 2002
Format: Paperback
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on 15 May 2000
Format: Hardcover
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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