The Upright Thinkers: Book summary and reviews of The Upright Thinkers by Leonard Mlodinow

The Upright Thinkers

The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos

by Leonard Mlodinow

The Upright Thinkers by Leonard Mlodinow X
The Upright Thinkers by Leonard Mlodinow
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Book Summary

In this fascinating and illuminating work, Leonard Mlodinow guides us through the critical eras and events in the development of science, all of which, he demonstrates, were propelled forward by humankind's collective struggle to know. From the birth of reasoning and culture to the formation of the studies of physics, chemistry, biology, and modern-day quantum physics, we come to see that much of our progress can be attributed to simple questions - why? how? - bravely asked.

Mlodinow profiles some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers who explored these questions - Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and Lavoisier among them - and makes clear that just as science has played a key role in shaping the patterns of human thought, human subjectivity has played a key role in the evolution of science. At once authoritative and accessible, and infused with the author's trademark wit, this deeply insightful book is a stunning tribute to humanity's intellectual curiosity.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Endlessly fascinating... consistently thought-provoking... A breathtaking survey." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Mlodinow's point has been made before, but rarely so well: the quality that best distinguishes - and honors - humankind is not an ability to answer questions, but that 'after millennia of effort,' nothing stops us from asking them." - Publishers Weekly

"[A] bracing work of scientific history... Don't worry if quantum physics and the theory of relativity leave you quaking... Mlodinow knows how to talk to the science-challenged." - Library Journal

"Follow Mlodinow on an astonishing tour of our species' journey; with each new stop, you'll discover how our unceasing progress is driven by something very special about human brains: our unslakable thirst for knowledge." - David Eagleman, PhD, Neuroscientist, New York Times bestselling author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

"Mlodinow takes us on a tour of some of the high points of scientific discovery from Egyptian and Mesopotamian mathematics, to Pythagoras and Aristotle, to the classical era of Galileo and Newton, and finally to the strange worlds of Einsteinian relativity and the uncertainty principle, which taught us how to study worlds beyond the reach of our everyday senses." - David Christian, co-author of Big History: Between Nothing and Everything, and professor, Macquarie University, Sydney

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Reader Reviews

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John Hanson

Amazingly thought provoking
Thoroughly researched and totally relevant and interesting to any inquiring mind, I found this to be one of my favorite non-fiction books, ever!

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Author Information

Leonard Mlodinow

Leonard Mlodinow received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute, and has taught at the California Institute of Technology. His previous books include War of the Worldviews (with Deepak Chopra), The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), and The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (a New York Times Notable Book), as well as Feynman's Rainbow, Euclid's Window, and Subliminal. He also wrote for the television series MacGyver and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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