Wednesday, December 4, 2013

1001 IDEAS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE THINK


Dust jacket blurb:
1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think is a comprehensive guide to the most interesting and imaginative thoughts from the finest minds in history. Ranging from the ancient wisdom of Confucius and Plato to today’s cutting-edge thinkers, it offers a wealth of stimulation and amusement for everyone with a curious mind. 

Within the pages of this book you will find a wide variety of answers to the great, eternal questions: How was the universe created and what is the place of humans within it? How should a person live? And how can we build a just society? 1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think also includes a host of hypotheses that are remarkable for their sheer weirdness—from the concept of the transmigration of souls to parallel universes and the theoretical paradoxes of time travel (what happens if you travel back in time and kill your own grandfather?).

Discover how the Greek philosopher Zeno “proved” a flying arrow never moves; how modern science has shown that a butterfly’s wing can stir up an Atlantic storm; and the mathematical proof of the existence of life in other galaxies. The inspirational ideas explored here range from Gandhi’s theory of civil disobedience to Henry David Thoreau’s praise of the simple life and Mary Wollstonecraft’s groundbreaking advocacy of women’s rights. The book also covers a wide variety of lifestyle concepts, such as “rational dress” and naturism, and cultural movements including Neoclassicism, Surrealism, and Postmodernism.

Supported by a wealth of striking illustrations and illuminating quotations, 1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think is both an in-depth history of ideas and a delightfully browsable source of entertainment.

Beginning with the ancient world and ending in the contemporary period, this book deserves to be read from cover to cover, but at 960 pages, that might not be practical. To facilitate exploring, there is a detailed index of ideas by category. I chose to spend a pleasant hour just flipping through the pages, feasting  on the luscious illustrations, thought-provoking quotations, and wealth of information contained in this book. For starters, I learned about the origins of biological warfare, the man who first posed the question about the chicken and the egg, and the earliest coffeehouses. If you have ever wondered about a subject, you can probably find out more about it within the pages of this book.  It would make a great Christmas gift for any of those hard-to-please people on your list, but be sure to get a copy for yourself, too. Five enthusiastic stars! Very highly recommended!

NOTE: I received a copy of this book for FREE in exchange for a written review. There was no expectation that this review be either positive or negative, and I was not given any financial compensation to read the book or write the review. This information is disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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