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The Ascent of Man (1973)

di Jacob Bronowski

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2,283175,014 (4.19)33
Dr Jacob Bronowksi's groundbreaking book The Ascent of Man traces the development of human society through its understanding of science.First published in 1973 to accompany the BBC television series, it is considered one of the first works of 'popular science', illuminating the historical and social context of scientific development for a generation of readers. In his highly accessible style, Dr Bronowski discusses human invention from the flint tool to geometry, agriculture to genetics, and from alchemy to the theory of relativity, showing how they all are expressions of our ability to understand and control nature.In mass market paperback for the first time, The Ascent of Man inspires, influences and informs as profoundly as ever.… (altro)
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The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski is a wonderful book about the beginnings of the human species and all of the fascinating and incredible leaps and bounds in knowledge and technology we have made.

There are 12 chapters and they touch upon so many different subjects. Our story begins in the savannas of Africa, where our ancestors were once tree dwellers and eventually began to walk upright. Humans transformed stones into tools and became hunter-gatherers, ultimately bringing forth the Neolithic Revolution.

As time moved on, we learned to tame the land by planting seeds and growing crops. Humans disciplined the ox, mules and horses for battle and farming. By building canals we controlled the flow of water. The discovery of metals thrust us into the Copper and Iron Ages.

Mathematics skyrocketed intellectual thinking and we began to apply that thinking to shapes and geometry. Galileo Galilie turned the telescope towards the Moon and left humanity in awe. Sir Isaac Newton gave motion to the planets by inventing calculus and Albert Einstein gave the speed light and the slowing of time a definition -- the Theory of Relativity.

The discovery of quantum physics and the subatomic world expanded our way of thinking. The Theory of Evolution by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace lifted the veil of nature's mysterious ways.

It was a delightful trip learning about all the amazing things humans have achieved. To learn about how we moved up the intellectual ladder was inspiring. Bronowski points out the importance of the continual push for knowledge and how to maintain that goal for future generations. Who knows where the human race will end up if we do. ( )
2 vota ProfessorEX | Apr 15, 2021 |
Vitrina izquierda, gaveta de abajo.
  ERNESTO36 | Apr 29, 2019 |
I learned a fair bit about bits of this and that from this response to Kenneth Clarke's classic "Civilization" series and book, basically the "the human in history as a function in science" to Clarke's similar take rooted in art. Bronowski's "wide-eyed urbanity" kind of schtick was alternately very charming and a bit much, like nobody could possibly be that blown away by the Victorian scientists and their vigour, like nobody who thinks of themselves as objective and a "man of science" likesay could really be that unreflective about whether China and India and the Middle East were really that Hegelian-philosophy-of-history torpid unless maybe he wasn't quite as free of preconceptions as he thought. ( )
1 vota MeditationesMartini | Feb 2, 2018 |
This book, which is an augmented version of the narrative Bronowski delivered for the BBC series of 1973, which I haven't yet watched, is lucid and brilliant from start to finish. At first, I regretted not having the accompanying video, but this feeling passed quickly. My edition does have some illustrations, but they are all black & white and most are poorly reproduced. In the end, they aren't needed. The writing is so good, the argument so convincing, and the content so fascinating that the book is a joy to read. And what a guide--a mathematician who later turned to other sciences, while at the same time a scholar of English literature, Bronowski's ascent of man is both scientific and artistic. His focus on the accomplishments of individuals such as Galileo, Newton, and Alfred Russel Wallace is fascinating. Topics include discovering atomic structure, genetics, and, of course, evolution. It is sad that Bronowski didn't live a lot longer. I would love to see him discussing quantum physics. Highly, highly recommended! ( )
1 vota datrappert | Nov 16, 2017 |
Last year, for the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carlson's Silent Spring, New Scientist magazine came up with a list of the top 25 most influential popular science books for readers to vote on for the top 10. This made the cut at #10, and for my money, should have been a lot higher. At least higher than Gaia.

Despite being published in 1976, it stands the test of time. A few things are negated by recent discoveries, but in general, Bronowski's book tells a great story.

"We are nature's unique experiment to make the rational intelligence prove itself sounder than the reflex. Knowledge is our destiny"

I'd say the "unique" is "so far", but concur with the destiny.

Good stuff. Recommended
( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
This is not just a book about science. It is a book about why science matters, and what it really tells us. That is not a message likely to go out of date in a few decades.
aggiunto da John_Vaughan | modificaGuardian, UK, Tim Radford (Jun 26, 2011)
 
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Man is a singular creature. He has a set of gifts which make him unique among the animals: so that, unlike them, he is not a figure in the landscape—he is a shaper of the landscape.
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This is the book. Please do not combine with the TV series.
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Dr Jacob Bronowksi's groundbreaking book The Ascent of Man traces the development of human society through its understanding of science.First published in 1973 to accompany the BBC television series, it is considered one of the first works of 'popular science', illuminating the historical and social context of scientific development for a generation of readers. In his highly accessible style, Dr Bronowski discusses human invention from the flint tool to geometry, agriculture to genetics, and from alchemy to the theory of relativity, showing how they all are expressions of our ability to understand and control nature.In mass market paperback for the first time, The Ascent of Man inspires, influences and informs as profoundly as ever.

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Media: (4.19)
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