A Short History of Nearly Everything
One of the world’s most beloved writers and New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body 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.
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Well, nothing and a great deal, depending on how you look at it. In the short term,
it's nothing. The most perfect vacuum ever created by humans is not as empty as
the emptiness of interstellar space. And there is a great deal of this nothingness ...
Evans, a quiet and cheerful man, lugs a bulky telescope onto the back deck of his
home in the Blue Mountains of Australia, about fifty miles west of Sydney, and
does an extraordinary thing. He looks deep into the past and finds dying stars.
"I just seem to have a knack for memorizing star fields," he told me, with a frankly
apologetic look, when I visited him and his wife, Elaine, in their picture-book
bungalow on a tranquil edge of the village of Hazelbrook, out where Sydney
Evans said, "about the idea of light traveling for millions of years through space
and just at the right moment as it reaches Earth someone looks at the right bit of
sky and sees it. It just seems right that an event of that magnitude should be ...
Using triangulation, the first thing we must do is put some distance between us,
so let's say for argument that you stay in Paris and I go to Moscow and we both
look at the Moon at the same time. Now if you imagine a line connecting the three
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: A Short History of Nearly EverythingUser Review - Richard Maddocks - Goodreads
I wanted to love it because I thought the premise was so interesting. I felt the book jumped from mind mindbogglingly fascinating to mind mindbogglingly dull and back then back again. I should add ... Read full review
Review: A Short History of Nearly EverythingUser Review - NinjaK - Goodreads
What an awesome book! I loved Bryson's humor scattered throughout, and I loved how he was able to make very complicated scientific concepts simple enough for a layperson to understand without once being condescending about it. Everyone should read this! Read full review
Other editions - View all
Genes and Behavior: Nature-Nurture Interplay Explained
Sir Michael Rutter
No preview available - 2006