Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Victor J. Stenger

Jeremy Bernstein

Cranks, Quarks and the Cosmos

At the start Cranks, Quarks and the Cosmos looks to be concerned with how to distinguish cranks from brilliant scientists - what was it about Einstein's theory of relativity that got it past the skeptics? As the book goes on however, it widens into a look at twentieth century science and scientists in general, selected from Bernstein's newspaper articles. He writes about the life and work of Erwin Schrödinger,Alan Turing, Primo Levi and Tom Lehrer, to name but a few, always examining how their work fitted in with the culture in which they lived.

Some of the chapters are based around Bernstein's interviews with scientists, others are more of the nature of comments on biographies of the scientists concerned. I had some doubts about the latter - Bernstein would criticise other books, but seemed to avoid the structure of a book review, and so would seem just to be trying to get one up on other writers. But apart from that minor criticism I felt there was much of interest in this book, and it gives fascinating look at many of the principal characters involved in creating twentieth century science, but without requiring any scientific knowledge on the part of the reader.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 230 pages  
ISBN: 0192880438
Salesrank: 5417923
Weight:0.44 lbs
Published: 1997 Oxford Univ Pr (Txt)
Marketplace:New from $129.00:Used from $15.87
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 230 pages  
ISBN: 0192880438
Salesrank: 2962162
Weight:0.44 lbs
Published: 1997 Oxford Paperbacks
Marketplace:New from £50.49:Used from £1.49
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback 230 pages  
ISBN: 0192880438
Salesrank: 3079581
Weight:0.44 lbs
Published: 1997 Oxford Univ Pr (Txt)
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 271.99:Used from CDN$ 17.37
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
Asking "How can we be sure that Albert Einstein was not a crank?", this book looks at the history of science from a general perspective. It includes an autobiographical account of how the author became science writer for the "New Yorker", and a series of profiles of famous scientists from Einstein, Neils Bohr and Alan Turing to Primo Levi, Edwin Land and Sophia Kovalevsky.