Autobiography Keay Davidson Carl Sagan: A Life

ISBN 13 : 9780471395362

Carl Sagan: A Life

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9780471395362: Carl Sagan: A Life

A penetrating, mesmerizing biography of a scientific icon

"Absolutely fascinating . . . Davidson has done a remarkable job."-Sir Arthur C. Clarke

"Engaging . . . accessible, carefully documented . . . sophisticated."-Dr. David Hollinger for The New York Times Book Review

"Entertaining . . . Davidson treats [the] nuances of Sagan's complex life with understanding and sympathy."-The Christian Science Monitor

"Excellent . . . Davidson acts as a keen critic to Sagan's works and their vast uncertainties."-Scientific American

"A fascinating book about an extraordinary man."-Johnny Carson

"Davidson, an award-winning science writer, has written an absorbing portrait of this Pied Piper of planetary science. Davidson thoroughly explores Sagan's science, wrestles with his politics, and plumbs his personal passions with a telling instinct for the revealing underside of a life lived so publicly."-Los Angeles Times

Carl Sagan was one of the most celebrated scientists of this century―the handsome and alluring visionary who inspired a generation to look to the heavens and beyond. His life was both an intellectual feast and an emotional rollercoaster. Based on interviews with Sagan's family and friends, including his widow, Ann Druyan; his first wife, acclaimed scientist Lynn Margulis; and his three sons, as well as exclusive access to many personal papers, this highly acclaimed life story offers remarkable insight into one of the most influential, provocative, and beloved figures of our time―a complex, contradictory prophet of the Space Age.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

Review :

Carl Sagan may have been one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. Then again, he may have been a relentless self-promoter who convinced everyone he was one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. Keay Davidson, science writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, aims to explain this complicated man in his biography. One thing is clear: Sagan was an extremely difficult man to love, a scientist whose passion for astronomy and biology was unparalleled, but who had little ability to express basic emotions to his wives and children. Davidson looks for reasons for this emotional distance in Sagan's childhood, when his relationship with his mother was intense and sometimes difficult. She encouraged her bright young son to be an "intellectual omnivore," to be passionate about knowledge, but she didn't give him the tools to relate to humans as individuals.

As his stellar science career developed, Sagan built a reputation as a leftist who believed that "science could serve liberal ideals," and as an arrogant man with an unshakable confidence in his own brain. Davidson writes that Sagan developed his famous skepticism as an undergraduate. Sagan suffered from a "troubling mix of intense emotion and stark rationalism," writes Davidson. He succeeded (mostly) in balancing passion with reason, a balance that made him a perfect popularizer of science, a trustworthy authority who preached that an open mind was the most valuable scientific tool. Davidson was influenced personally by Sagan's writings, and he sometimes works a little too hard at puncturing the myths surrounding Sagan, but this biography is one that deserves to be read by Sagan's fans and detractors alike. It's a compelling, very real assessment of an all-too-human god of science. --Therese Littleton

From the Inside Flap :

Carl Sagan was one of the most celebratedscientists of his time-the leading visionary of the Space Age. He was also a highly controversial figure who inspired wildly opposed opinions. His enthusiasm and eloquence about the wonders of space, the marvels of the human brain, and the mysteries of life captured the imagination of millions. Yet one scientist was so enraged by Sagan's scientific pronouncements that he compared him to the Black Plague, and William F. Buckley Jr. likened him to circus huckster P. T. Barnum.

Sagan's life was both an intellectual feast and an emotional roller coaster. Whether he was searching for life on Mars or visiting Timothy Leary in prison, prophesying exciting scientific discoveries or getting arrested for protesting nuclear weapons, debating the existence of UFOs or advocating the creative benefits of smoking marijuana, Carl Sagan was a fascinating, charismatic, and complex man full of contradictions.

A passionate debunker of pseudoscience, Sagan was nevertheless so enthralled by the prospects of discovering life out in space that he championed science-fiction-like ideas about communication with alien superbeings, spaceflight to the stars, and "balloon animals" floating in the skies of Jupiter. A man with a dazzling social life, who hobnobbed with everyone from Nobel laureates to the Dalai Lama, and celebrities like Johnny Carson, Jodie Foster, and Paul Newman, he was also intensely private, and even many of his closest friends felt they knew little about the real man inside.

The son of Jewish immigrants living in middle-class Brooklyn-a father who had fled Czarist Russia and a vivacious but acid-tongued mother-he became a staunch religious skeptic. Though he was doted on by his domineering mother and had a close relationship with his father, he largely neglected his first two sons, and while he avidly espoused feminist views, his sexism ruined his first marriage. An illicit affair tore apart his second. Yet in his third marriage, he found lasting love, and he learned to be a more engaged and giving father.

Certainly, Sagan was a magnificent writer and TV showman-"the greatest popularizer of the twentieth century," Science magazine called him after his untimely death at age 62 from a rare precancerous blood disease. He made science "sexy" again to a generation repelled by nuclear weapons and other scientific horrors. His TV series Cosmos awed hundreds of millions around the world, and his bestseller The Dragons of Eden won the Pulitzer Prize. Yet the value of his scientific work was often called into question. His Ph.D. dissertation narrowly escaped rejection, he was denied tenure at Harvard, and in thetwilight of his life, he was denied membership in the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

In this insightful and evenhanded biography, acclaimed science journalist Keay Davidson reveals for the first time the man behind the famous image-the storm of contradictions and passions that animated this enigmatic and entrancing man who remained, at heart, the five-year-old Brooklyn boy who looked up at the stars and asked: What are they? Davidson draws on an unprecedented wealth of interviews with Sagan's family members, friends, colleagues, admirers, and detractors, as well as from a vast archive of unpublished writings and intimate personal papers. The result is one of the most thought-provoking scientific biographies of our time-a probing and critical yet affectionate portrait of the man who, more than any other, epitomized the boldest dreams of the Space Age.

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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Description du livre Wiley. Paperback. État : New. Paperback. 560 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.1in. x 1.6in.A penetrating, mesmerizing biography of a scientific iconAbsolutely fascinating . . . Davidson has done a remarkable job. -Sir Arthur C. ClarkeEngaging . . . accessible, carefully documented . . . sophisticated. -Dr. David Hollinger for The New York Times Book Review Entertaining . . . Davidson treats the nuances of Sagans complex life with understanding and sympathy. -The Christian Science MonitorExcellent . . . Davidson acts as a keen critic to Sagans works and their vast uncertainties. -Scientific AmericanA fascinating book about an extraordinary man. -Johnny CarsonDavidson, an award-winning science writer, has written an absorbing portrait of this Pied Piper of planetary science. Davidson thoroughly explores Sagans science, wrestles with his politics, and plumbs his personal passions with a telling instinct for the revealing underside of a life lived so publicly. -Los Angeles TimesCarl Sagan was one of the most celebrated scientists of this centurythe handsome and alluring visionary who inspired a generation to look to the heavens and beyond. His life was both an intellectual feast and an emotional rollercoaster. Based on interviews with Sagans family and friends, including his widow, Ann Druyan; his first wife, acclaimed scientist Lynn Margulis; and his three sons, as well as exclusive access to many personal papers, this highly acclaimed life story offers remarkable insight into one of the most influential, provocative, and beloved figures of our timea complex, contradictory prophet of the Space Age. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. N° de réf. du libraire 9780471395362

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Description du livre John Wiley Sons Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A penetrating, mesmerizing biography of a scientific icon, now in paperback Absolutely fascinating .Davidson has done a remarkable job. -Sir Arthur C. Clarke Engaging .accessible, carefully documented .sophisticated. -Dr. David Hollinger for The New York Times Book Review Entertaining .Davidson treats [the] nuances of Sagan s complex life with understanding and sympathy. -The Christian Science Monitor Excellent .Davidson acts as a keen critic to Sagan s works and their vast uncertainties. -Scientific American A fascinating book about an extraordinary man. -Johnny Carson Davidson, an award-winning science writer, has written an absorbing portrait of this Pied Piper of planetary science. Davidson thoroughly explores Sagan s science, wrestles with his politics, and plumbs his personal passions with a telling instinct for the revealing underside of a life lived so publicly. -Los Angeles Times Carl Sagan was one of the most celebrated scientists of this century-the handsome and alluring visionary who inspired a generation to look to the heavens and beyond. His life was both an intellectual feast and an emotional rollercoaster. Based on interviews with Sagan s family and friends, including his widow, Ann Druyan; his first wife, acclaimed scientist Lynn Margulis; and his three sons, as well as exclusive access to many personal papers, this highly acclaimed life story offers remarkable insight into one of the most influential, provocative, and beloved figures of our time-a complex, contradictory prophet of the Space Age. N° de réf. du libraire APC9780471395362

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Description du livre John Wiley Sons Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A penetrating, mesmerizing biography of a scientific icon, now in paperback Absolutely fascinating .Davidson has done a remarkable job. -Sir Arthur C. Clarke Engaging .accessible, carefully documented .sophisticated. -Dr. David Hollinger for The New York Times Book Review Entertaining .Davidson treats [the] nuances of Sagan s complex life with understanding and sympathy. -The Christian Science Monitor Excellent .Davidson acts as a keen critic to Sagan s works and their vast uncertainties. -Scientific American A fascinating book about an extraordinary man. -Johnny Carson Davidson, an award-winning science writer, has written an absorbing portrait of this Pied Piper of planetary science. Davidson thoroughly explores Sagan s science, wrestles with his politics, and plumbs his personal passions with a telling instinct for the revealing underside of a life lived so publicly. -Los Angeles Times Carl Sagan was one of the most celebrated scientists of this century-the handsome and alluring visionary who inspired a generation to look to the heavens and beyond. His life was both an intellectual feast and an emotional rollercoaster. Based on interviews with Sagan s family and friends, including his widow, Ann Druyan; his first wife, acclaimed scientist Lynn Margulis; and his three sons, as well as exclusive access to many personal papers, this highly acclaimed life story offers remarkable insight into one of the most influential, provocative, and beloved figures of our time-a complex, contradictory prophet of the Space Age. N° de réf. du libraire APC9780471395362

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