Synopsis: One of the world’s most beloved writers and bestselling author of One Summer takes his ultimate journey—into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.
In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail—well, most of it. In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.
Winner of the 2004 Royal Society Prize for Science Books (Aventis Book Prize)
Published: May 2003 | ISBN-13: 978-0275980528
Bill Bryson’s examination of nearly everything was a grand attempt, standing at 544 pages. Frequently cited as one of the best popular science books around, it isn’t his command of the science, which he frequent attests is shaky, but rather his wide-eyed wonder at many things we take for granted. Of course, his ability as a storyteller takes what might have been a long read and turns it into a compelling narrative about scientists and the science of nearly everything. A great read – @popsciguyoz
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