A Short History of Nearly Everything: Special Illustrated Edition (eBook)
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.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
BILL BRYSON’s bestselling books include A Walk in the Woods, I’m a Stranger Here Myself, In a Sunburned Country, and Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words. He received the 2004 Aventis Prize for A Short History of Nearly Everything. He lives in England with his wife and children.
Praise for A Short History of Nearly Everything: Special Illustrated Edition…
Praise for A Short History of Nearly Everything
“A modern classic of science writing. . . . The more I read of A Short History of Nearly Everything, the more I was convinced that Bryson had achieved exactly what he’d set out to do.” —New York Times Book Review
“A highly readable mix of historical anecdotes, gee-whiz facts, adept summarization, and gleeful recounts of the eccentricities of great scientists. It moves so fast that it’s science on a toboggan.”—Seattle Times
“[Bill Bryson] makes science interesting and funny. . . . You can bet that many questions you have about the universe and the world will be answered here.”—Boston Globe
“Here are answers to the stupid questions you were afraid to ask in school . . . [Bryson] peppers the book with wit and great details. . . . Bottom line: Science with a smile.”—People
“It is one of this book’s great achievements that Bryson is able to weave a satisfying universal narrative without sparing the reader one whit of scientific ignorance or doubt. . . . [A Short History of Nearly Everything] represents a wonderful education, and all schools would be better places if it were the core science reader on the curriculum.”—Tim Flannery, Times Literary Supplement