The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos

By Leonard Mlodinow
A few million years ago, our ancestors came down from the trees and began to stand upright, freeing our hands to create tools and our minds to grapple with the world around us.
Leonard Mlodinow takes us on a passionate and inspiring tour through the exciting history of human progress and the key events in the development of science. In the process, he presents a fascinating new look at the unique characteristics of our species and our society that helped propel us from stone tools to written language and through the birth of chemistry, biology, and modern physics to today's technological world.
Along the way he explores the cultural conditions that influenced scientific thought through the ages and the colorful personalities of some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers: Galileo, who preferred painting and poetry to medicine and dropped out of university; Isaac Newton, who stuck needlelike bodkins into his eyes to better understand changes in light and color; and Antoine Lavoisier, who drank nothing but milk for two weeks to examine its effects on his body. Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and many lesser-known but equally brilliant minds also populate these pages, each of their stories showing how much of human achievement can be attributed to the stubborn pursuit of simple questions (why? how?), bravely asked.
The Upright Thinkers is a book for science lovers and for anyone interested in creative thinking and in our ongoing quest to understand our world. At once deeply informed, accessible, and infused with the author's trademark wit, this insightful work is a stunning tribute to humanity's intellectual curiosity.
(With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leonard Mlodinow’s previous books include the best sellers Subliminal (winner of the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science writing award), The Drunkard’s Walk (a New York Times Notable Book), War of the Worldviews (with Deepak Chopra), and The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), as well as The Upright Thinkers, Feynman’s Rainbow, and Euclid’s Window. He also wrote for the television series MacGyver and Star Trek: The Next Generation.




    REVIEW QUOTES
Mlodinow never fails to make science both accessible and entertaining. Stephen Hawking, author of "A Brief History of Time " Powerful. . . . Breath[es] new life into science history. [Mlodinow] frames narratives of great thinkers with serial scenes of his father s great courage and curiosity. "Publishers Weekly" (starred review) [An] amazingly compact yet satisfying history. . . . [Mlodinow] is a whiz of a popular-science writer. . . . Amateur science mavens couldn t ask for a better brief, introductory text. Ray Olson, "Booklist " How did we move so rapidly from caves to cars, from the Savannah to skyscrapers, fromwalking on two legs to bounding on the Moon?Follow Mlodinow on an astonishing tour ofour species journey; with eachnew stop, you'll discover how our unceasing progress is driven by something very special about humanbrains: ourunslakable thirst forknowledge. David Eagleman, PhD, Neuroscientist, New York Times bestselling author of "Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain" [A] bracing work of scientific history. . . . Don t worry if quantum physics and the theory of relativity leave you quaking. . . . Mlodinow knows how to talk to the science-challenged. "Library Journal" Endlessly fascinating . . . consistently thought-provoking. . . . A selective, guided tour of the human accumulation of knowledge . . . [and] the striking characters who pioneered scientific discoveries. . . . A breathtaking survey. "Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) Mlodinow vividly traces the revolutions in thought and culture that define our civilization and, as a bonus, presents a stimulating overview of the history and majestic sweep of modern science. V. S. Ramachandran, author of "The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist s Quest for What Makes Us Human" An enjoyable and readable introduction to the history of western science, beginning with the first stone tools and ending in the era of quantum physics. Mlodinow takes us on a tour of some of the high points of scientific discovery from Egyptian and Mesopotamian mathematics, to Pythagoras and Aristotle, to the classical era of Galileo and Newton, and finally to the strange worlds of Einsteinian relativity and the uncertainty principle, which taught us how to study worlds beyond the reach of our everyday senses. David Christian, co-author of "Big History: Between Nothing and Everything, " and professor, Macquarie University, Sydney"
"How did we move so rapidly from caves to cars, from the Savannah to skyscrapers, from walking on two legs to bounding on the Moon? Follow Mlodinow on an astonishing tour of our species' journey; with each new stop, you'll discover how our unceasing progress is driven by something very special about human brains: our unslakable thirst for knowledge." --David Eagleman, PhD, Neuroscientist, New York Times bestselling author of "Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain" "[A] bracing work of scientific history. . . . Don't worry if quantum physics and the theory of relativity leave you quaking. . . . Mlodinow knows how to talk to the science-challenged." --"Library Journal" "Endlessly fascinating . . . consistently thought-provoking. . . . A selective, guided tour of the human accumulation of knowledge . . . [and] the striking characters who pioneered scientific discoveries. . . . A breathtaking survey." --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) "An enjoyable and readable introduction to the history of western science, beginning with the first stone tools and ending in the era of quantum physics. Mlodinow takes us on a tour of some of the high points of scientific discovery from Egyptian and Mesopotamian mathematics, to Pythagoras and Aristotle, to the classical era of Galileo and Newton, and finally to the strange worlds of Einsteinian relativity and the uncertainty principle, which taught us how to study worlds beyond the reach of our everyday senses." --David Christian, co-author of "Big History: Between Nothing and Everything, " and professor, Macquarie University, Sydney



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ISBN: 9780345804433

About the Paperback

Publisher Vintage
Publish date 04/19/2016
Pages 352
ISBN-13 9780345804433
ISBN-10 0345804430
Language English

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