Short History of Nearly Everything

ISBN-10: 0767908171

ISBN-13: 9780767908177

Edition: 2003

Authors: Bill Bryson

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Description:

Bill Bryson is one of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers. In A Short History of Nearly Everything, he takes his ultimate journey–into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It’s a dazzling quest, the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. Or, as the author puts it, “…how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since.” This is, in short, a tall order. To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world’s most profound scientific minds, living and dead. His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemisty, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn’t some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school. His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it. How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface? How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is? How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out? On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only this superb writer can render it. Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight.
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Book details

List price: $32.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 5/6/2003
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 560
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 2.2
Language: English

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 8, 1951. In 1973, Bryson went backpacking in England, where he eventually decided to settle. He wrote for the English newspapers The Times and The Independent, as well as supplementing his income by writing travel articles. Bryson moved back to the States in 1995. His first travel book, The Lost Continent, chronicles a trip in his mother's Chevy around small town America. Since then, he has written several more travelogues about the U. K. and the U. S., including bestsellers, A Walk in the Woods, I'm A Stranger Here Myself, and In a Sunburned Country. His other books include: Bill Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe, Made in America, The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson's African Diary, A Short History of Nearly Everything, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Walk About, and Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, the Genius of the Royal Society.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Lost in the Cosmos
How to Build a Universe
Welcome to the Solar System
The Reverend Evans's Universe
The Size of the Earth
The Measure of Things
The Stone-Breakers
Science Red in Tooth and Claw
Elemental Matters
A New Age Dawns
Einstein's Universe
The Mighty Atom
Getting the Lead Out
Muster Mark's Quarks
The Earth Moves
Dangerous Planet
Bang!
The Fire Below
Dangerous Beauty
Life Itself
Lonely Planet
Into the Troposphere
The Bounding Main
The Rise of Life
Small World
Life Goes On
Good-bye to All That
The Richness of Being
Cells
Darwin's Singular Notion
The Stuff of Life
The Road to us
Ice Time
The Mysterious Biped
The Restless Ape
Good-bye
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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