Isaac Newton, The Asshole Who Reinvented the Universe

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As you might gather from this book’s title: Isaac Newton: The Asshole Who Invented the Universe, this book attempts to chronicle Newton’s life and works in a slightly more ribald tone. And it turns out that, as presented here, Newton was indeed a pretty big jerk. Egotistical, inconsiderate, prickly, hyper-sensitive, and viciously competitive, Newton was the quintessential genius (where “quintessential genius” is code for “person whose bad behavior is excused because they’re pretty smart”) who saw other scientific minds as either hopelessly stupid or as scheming rivals. When one mathematician asked Newton for a table of mathematical solutions, for example, Newtown responded that it would be “pretty easy and obvious enough [to do]. But I cannot persuade myself to undertake the drudgery of making it.”

I really enjoyed this more candid take on Newton. Author Florian Freistetter is a science journalist and thus well accustomed to explaining scientific concepts in language comprehensible and approachable to laymen. His tongue-in-cheek approach to this mythic man of science is fun and refreshing. Through this frank and honest portrait, I actually developed even more respect for Isaac Newton as a deeply flawed man who nevertheless made monumental contributions to humanity. Check out Freistetter’s book for a cheeky, amusing, but also edifying, account of Newton, his life, and his work. Particularly if you don’t specialize in sciences but are curious about scientific history, this book is a great place to start.


Reviewed By:

Author Florian Freistetter • Brian Taylor, Translator
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 208 pages
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publish Date 2018-Sep-04
ISBN 9781633884564
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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