• Title: Galileo: Watcher of the Skies
  • Author: David Wootton
  • ISBN: 9780300125368
  • Page: 232
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Galileo Watcher of the Skies Galileo is one of the most important and controversial figures in the history of science A hero of modern science and key to its birth he was also a deeply divided man a scholar committed t
    Galileo 1564 1642 is one of the most important and controversial figures in the history of science A hero of modern science and key to its birth, he was also a deeply divided man a scholar committed to the establishment of scientific truth yet forced to concede the importance of faith, and a brilliant analyst of the elegantly mathematical workings of nature yet bunglinGalileo 1564 1642 is one of the most important and controversial figures in the history of science A hero of modern science and key to its birth, he was also a deeply divided man a scholar committed to the establishment of scientific truth yet forced to concede the importance of faith, and a brilliant analyst of the elegantly mathematical workings of nature yet bungling and insensitive with his own family.Tackling Galileo as astronomer, engineer, and author, David Wootton places him at the center of Renaissance culture He traces Galileo through his early rebellious years the beginnings of his scientific career constructing a new physics his move to Florence seeking money, status, and greater freedom to attack intellectual orthodoxies his trial for heresy and narrow escape from torture and his house arrest and physical though not intellectual decline Wootton reveals much that is new from Galileo s premature Copernicanism to a previously unrecognized illegitimate daughter and, controversially, rejects the long established orthodoxy which holds that Galileo was a good Catholic.Absolutely central to Galileo s significance and to science broadly is the telescope, the potential of which Galileo was the first to grasp Wootton makes clear that it totally revolutionized and galvanized scientific endeavor to discover new and previously unimagined facts Drawing extensively on Galileo s voluminous letters, many of which were self censored and sly, this is an original, arresting, and highly readable biography of a difficult, remarkable Renaissance genius.

    One Reply to “Galileo: Watcher of the Skies”

    1. The second star is grudging as I find Wootton to be an impossibly irritating writer and this a seriously annoying book. Wootton does have a good grasp on the history of the church in Italy (he is a social historian who has previously published on Paulo Sarpi). The parts of the book about Galileo's trips to Rome in 1616 and 1633, and his trial, are interesting, clear, sympathetic and seem credible enough for me to feel like I learned something. Hence the second star.The problem is that Wootton re [...]

    2. The first part of this book is a straight forward history of Galileo's life and work which is the best biography that I have read of the man who invented modern science. I give this part of the book 4 stars.Then the last portion of the book gets into the author's assertion that Galileo did not believe in God,without any real evidence. He coupled this with a long discussion of the history of the history of biography about Galileo, which also was of no interest to me. So this part of the work is j [...]

    3. Excellent detail in the earlier chapters, but some of the author's conjectures in last two or three chapters concerning Galileo as a Catholic seem off the mark.

    4. Fantastic historical account of the science and the scientist. Follows his life, relationships, and observations to make conclusions about Galileo's strengths and weaknesses.

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