New York, NY: William Morrow, 2001. First Edition, First Printing. Hardcover with Dust Jacket.
No Flaws or Blemishes but a remainder mark; Unread, unopened.
Near Fine / Fine. Item #006294
"Scientific discovery is based upon the excitement of argument... the overwhelming effect [of which] has been to propel science forward."
In several of the eight rivalries White (Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer, etc.) compares in this captivating work, the competition is more than personal: the fate of nations (e.g., the Allies versus the Axis powers in the battle to develop the atom bomb) and of industry (Thomas Edison versus Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse in the fight to harness electricity; Bill Gates and Microsoft versus Larry Ellison and Oracle in the struggle to dominate cyberspace) hang in the balance.
While each story could stand on its own, White's skill at interweaving important themes across time and among rivalries brings the whole work together. For example, less than a century after Galileo encouraged scientific experiment and exchange, Isaac Newton stymied progress by keeping his discovery of calculus to himself.
When he learned that a young German mathematician named Gottfried Leibniz had reached the same conclusions, Newton was furious. Charles Darwin, on the other hand, realized that science could only benefit from cooperation among its practitioners and from public awareness.
Just before releasing his 1859 masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, to the world, Darwin befriended a young scientist named Alfred Wallace, who was also working on a theory of evolution.