Winner of the 1988 American Institute of Physics Prize and named one of 1988's best books by the New York Times Book Review, this brilliant, lively and informative book seeks to comprehend the enormities of cosmic space and time and how this quest has shaped religion, politics and philosophy.
I particularly enjoyed getting to know the great thinkers of human history: Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein. Ferris sprinkles his narrative with personal anecdotes that give these geniuses personality. But he keeps pulling the reader onward, from the earliest conceptions of the universe as a closed system, the stars a ceiling just over our heads, to the vast reaches of time and space that we now know the universe to contain, to the mind-warping properties of the sub-molecular universe and the early moments following the Big Bang. I won't claim to have understood it all, but I found it all fascinating, and would recommend this book to anyone who looks out at the night sky and longs to understand what she sees.
It tells the story of the Universe while also telling the story of telling the story of the Universe, from the first decipherable cave paintings to up to date discoveries in the field of particle physics - all in a way that can be understood by folks like me that have an interest in science and discovery but have no aptitude for it!