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A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change

 
 
Author
John Glassie.
Publisher Riverhead  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 1.1 inches
ISBN 9781594488719
Pages/Publication Date 335/2012
Daedalus Item Code 43117
List Price: $26.95
Sale Price: $5.98 $4.98
You Save: $21.97
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Description
(A Scientific American Best Science Book of 2012 and a New York Times Book Review "Editor's Choice") The interests of 17th-century priest-scientist Athanasius Kircher knew no bounds. From optics to music, magnetism to medicine, he offered up inventions and theories for everything, while his celebrated museum in Rome featured magic lanterns, speaking statues, the tail of a mermaid, and a brick from the Tower of Babel. But his enthusiasm outpaced his skepticism, in a time when the "art of knowing" was giving way to the scientific method, and Kircher's inability to embrace such modern reasoning led to his being labeled a crackpot. Here John Glassie looks at this fascinating character, and some of the real contributions he did make to science.

"Glassie brings the ultimate mad professor Athanasius Kircher vividly to life, revealing him to be a kind of cross between Leonardo da Vinci and Mr. Bean. A most entertaining foray into the history of science."—Ross King

"I've been waiting my entire adult life for someone to write a popular biography of the loopy, ingenious scholar-priest Athanasius Kircher, and John Glassie has delivered marvelously. A man of insatiable curiosity and staggeringly diverse intellectual passions, Kircher may have been the greatest polymath of all time—or at least the most eccentric."—Joshua Foer

 
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