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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Review by Paul Haggerty
W. W. Norton Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0393062244
Date: 22 January, 2007 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

Death by Black Hole is a collection of forty-two science essays by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Ranging the gamut from the structure of the human eye, to the structure of gravity binding together galactic clusters, Tyson explains the incredible in simple, but scientifically accurate prose.

Scientists are drawn to the field not because they want to know, but because they want to find out. And there is a subtle difference. Scientists are always baffled because the unknown is where all the fun is. Over millennia, philosophers, naturalists, and scientists have slowly but surely been proving each other wrong in a game whose point is not so much to get it right, but to get it right-er. This is the lure and frustration of science. It's a lure I've felt throughout my life. Every time I pick up a science book, all the facts I've known are now prefaced with "yes, but ..." So how does that make me feel? Excited to be able to be just a little more righter, if only for a short time. So come take a look at how our world and universe are currently understood to be put together, as described by one of the best science essayist of our time. Some facts will be familiar, some won't. And some might just prove that the professor who gave you a C- on that exam, didn't have all his facts straight either.

From official release/information:

Book Description: A vibrant collection of essays on the cosmos from the nation's best-known astrophysicist.

Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. Here, Tyson compiles his favorite essays across a myriad of cosmic topics. The title essay introduces readers to the physics of black holes by explaining the gory details of what would happen to your body if you fell into one. "Holy Wars" examines the needless friction between science and religion in the context of historical conflicts. "The Search for Life in the Universe" explores astral life from the frontiers of astrobiology. And "Hollywood Nights" assails the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right.

Known for his ability to blend content, accessibility, and humor, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies some of the most complex concepts in astrophysics while simultaneously sharing his infectious excitement about our universe.

(Source: W. W. Norton)

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