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1. The Essential Galileo
2. Galileo Galilei: Inventor, Astronomer,
3. Renaissance Genius: Galileo Galilei
4. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo
5. Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei
6. Galileo for Kids: His Life and
7. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief
8. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief
9. Galileo Galilei - When the World
10. Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius, Or
11. On Sunspots
12. Galileo
13. The Cambridge Companion to Galileo
14. Sidereus Nuncius, or The Sidereal
15. Galileo at Work: His Scientific
16. Galileo's Daughter: A Historical
17. Galileo: A Very Short Introduction
18. The Church And Galileo (Studies
19. Galileo Galilei: First Physicist
20. Galileo: A Life

1. The Essential Galileo
by Galileo Galilei
Paperback: 384 Pages (2008-09-30)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$10.99
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Asin: 0872209377
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Spanning Galileo's entire career, this new collection presents an annotated translation of Galileo's most important writings as judged by their historical impact from the seventeenth century to the present. It thus presents not only those writings that bear most closely on key developments in physics, astronomy, epistemology, and scientific methodology, but those most relevant to general culture as well, including writings on the relationship between science and religion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid History and Documents of Galileo
The Essential Galileo takes the reader through some of Galileo's most important writings, as well as some of the critical documents pertaining to his trial.Readers will be gratified in coming to know some of the most influential writings that Galileo Galilei offered to the world.His achievements as a scientist, and his appreciation for how to read scripture must also be noted. Read this book, and a biography or book about Galileo's life and you should have a fairly firm grasp of Galileo.Certainly a book I recommend to those curious about the highlights of the famous Italian astronomers central accomplishments. (also I recommend "Galileo in Rome", but don't miss this book!) ... Read more

2. Galileo Galilei: Inventor, Astronomer, and Rebel (Giants of Science)
by Michael White
Library Binding: 64 Pages (1999-08-18)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
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Asin: 1567113257
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Describes the life and work of the scientist who was persecuted by the Inquisition for his views of the universe. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Giant of Science!
"The mathematician and physicist Galileo Galilei is one of the most famous scientists of all times. The story of his life and times, of his epoch-making experiments and discoveries, of his stubbornness and pride, of his patrons in the house of Medici, of his enemies and friends in their struggle for truth - all is brought vividly to life in this book. Atle Nss has written a gripping account of one of the great figures in European history.He was awarded the Brage Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in Norway." (review from First Science Online Newsletter)

3-0 out of 5 stars Inventor, Astronomer, and Rebel
Galileo Galilei was one of the world's greatest scientist. He developed the telescope. With it, he discovered Jupiter's moon and hundreds of stars. He declared that Earth was not in the centre of the universe with the sun revolving around it. Galileo proved that the Earth was acctually revolving around the sun. The Church found out and home arrested him. Galileo's methods was the birth of modern science.

3-0 out of 5 stars Invenor, Astronomer, and Rebel
Galileo Galilei was one of the world's greatest scientist. He develope the telescope. With it, he discovered Jupiter's moons and hundreds of stars. He declared that Earth was not in the centre of the universe with the sun revolving around it. Galileo proved that the Earth was acctually revolving around the sun. The Church found out and home arrested Galileo. Galileo's methods was the birth of modern science. ... Read more

3. Renaissance Genius: Galileo Galilei & His Legacy to Modern Science
by David Whitehouse
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2009-11-03)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$13.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1402769776
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Four hundred years ago, Galileo Galilei first used the telescope to gaze at the heavens. In honor of that anniversary, as well as the international year of astronomy, this lavishly illustrated volume celebrates Galileo’s life and work.

Written by internationally renowned BBC science correspondent Dr. David Whitehouse—the world’s most cited science journalist—Renaissance Genius paints a fascinating portrait of the astronomer. Beautifully written, gorgeously packaged, and eminently knowledgeable, it offers a smart alternative to dry, academic studies of the subject.

Dr. Whitehouse invites the reader to journey into the world of the Italian Renaissance at a crucial time of change—when science clashed with a church still mired in a medieval mindset. He helps us fully appreciate Galileo’s revolutionary discoveries…and his role in opening up the cosmos to all mankind.


... Read more

4. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo
by Galileo Galilei
Paperback: 320 Pages (1957-03-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.00
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Asin: 0385092393
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Directing his polemics against the pedantry of his time, Galileo, as his own popularizer, addressed his writings to contemporary laymen. His support of Copernican cosmology, against the Church's strong opposition, his development of a telescope, and his unorthodox opinions as a philosopher of science were the central concerns of his career and the subjects of four of his most important writings. Drake's introductory essay place them in their biographical and historical context. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview of Why We Still Talk About Galileo Galilei
My interest in Galileo was recently piqued by a seminar on data presentation by Edward Tufte (strongly recommended, also his books.)I was looking for an overview of Galileo's work and some context.This book provides both, very well.

The book provides long quotations from "Siderius Nuncius" (Starry Messenger), Letters on Sunspots, The Assayer, and Letters to the Mother of the Grand Duke of Tuscany (whose name escapes me right now.)Preceding each of these exerpts, is an introduction which includes historical information, information about Galileo's personal life, and much quotation from other scientists and people with whom Galileo is arguing.These are written in excellent, clear prose.The stage is set without the stage manager intruding.The exerpts from Galileo have been edited to maintain the focus on why Galileo is important to history and science, without losing his flavor or his pugnacious style.

The point made by Galileo himself and the book are that Galileo pointed out that from then on, evidence would be the standard by which we would judge our knowledge of the world, not authority, word-play, logical proofs or arguments, etc.This is the dawn of the enlightenment.

For an introduction, I found this book perfect.It won't satisfy the scholar looking to read every word of Galileo's.But, as I noted above, this book does show us why we still know Galileo's name, unlike the vast majority of his peers.[edited for spelling]

4-0 out of 5 stars well worth the read.
The Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo is an excellent summary and translation, by Stillman Drake, of Galileo's 4 greatest works, including The Starry Messanger, The Assayer, Letters on Sunspots, and the Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina. Drake presents the words of Galileo as well as his own translations and insights into his life. He not only focuses on just the opinions of Galileo, but also gives the reader information about the viewpoints of Galileo's opponents.
I assume that Drake wanted to tell the story of Galileo in words that an everyday person can understand. By simply reading works written by Galileo, it is not always easy to comprehend the scientific and mathematical language that he uses. By omitting parts of Galileo's texts and adding his own details, Drake makes understanding Galileo's discoveries painless.
Personally, I believe that The Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo is well worth the read because it is educational yet interesting. Although the discoveries of Galileo may seem quite obvious to us today, it's entertaining reading how he came upon such discoveries, which were considered phenomenal at the time. The conflicts between Galileo and the Inquisition adds entertainment to what may seem like just observations and reports of Galileo. Overall, I think most people will be educated and entertained by reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Galileo's Ideas and Their Defense
The Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo consists of four works by Galileo Galilei: The Starry Messenger, Letters on Sunspots, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, and The Assayer. They are each wonderfully translated by Stillman Drake. He omits unnecessary parts of the texts, to prevent verbosity or boredom, while still giving the reader the full sense of each work. Drake is a professor of the History of Science at the University of Toronto. Before each of Galileo's works, Drake gives an introduction which details the circumstances and events prompting Galileo to take up the pen. Drake presents an excellent history of the times and atmosphere along with the political forces that permeated the setting of early seventeenth century Italian academia. One gets a real feel for what Galileo was up against in presenting his ideas in the face of ecclesiastical and philosophical opposition.

The Starry Messenger is Galileo's account of his first uses of his homemade telescope. He details his observations of the four newly discovered moons of Jupiter and several stars that can now be seen with the telescope. His Letters on Sunspots are a retort to another astronomer's theories on the nature of the phenomenon. In the Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, Galileo puts up a staunch defense to the church in his adopting the Copernican heliocentric model of the universe. After being banned from teaching this opinion, Galileo makes a suave effort to communicate his ideas in a defense on the nature of comets in The Assayer.

This is the story of Galileo verses old dogma. One cannot help but sympathize with Galileo in his frustration in communicating what he believed to be true. In light of our current knowledge of the solar system and the logical arguments Galileo puts forth it is hard not to feel a bit of the same frustration. This book is a great treatise on Galileo's ideas and his tenacity in defending them. Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems would be an excellent companion to this book. Drake has published a translation of this work also. Galileo's thoughts and observations mark a milestone in the history of astronomy, and Drake's book venerates the man and his teachings.

5-0 out of 5 stars The origins of modern physics
Beyond doubt, Galileo established the foundation of modern physics and his intellectual approach marked the onset of a highly successful process which continues to advance our understanding of physical reality. All students of science are familiar with the events which led to the confrontation between Galileo and the Church and of the outcome which impacted so negatively on the relationship between science and religion. This book includes Galileo's letter to Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. the letter was written in 1615 and is titled "Concerning the Use of Biblical Quotations in Matters of Science". It is a masterpiece and I recommend it highly to everyone who is interested in Galileo, this highly relevant topic and what he really thought about it. Galileo was proudest of his discovery that bodies fall with time in the ratio of 1:3:5:.... . We can all be proud of what he wrote in this letter and the manner in which he expressed himself. If for no other reason than an opportunity to read and appreciate this document, the book is well worth reading

4-0 out of 5 stars Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo
Although the introductory sections are a bit dated, this book contains some of the best translations available of Galileo's works in English.It includes a broad range of his theories (both those we recognize as"correct" and those in which he was "in error"). Bothtypes indicate his creativity.The reproductions of his sketches of themoons of Jupiter (in "The Starry Messenger") are accurate enoughto match to modern computer programs which show the positions of the moonsfor any date in history.The appendix with a chronological summary ofGalileo's life is very useful in placing the readings in context. ... Read more

5. Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei
by Peter Sis
Paperback: 40 Pages (2000-09-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.23
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Asin: 0374470278
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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In every age there are courageous people who break with tradition to explore new ideas and challenge accepted truths. Galileo Galilei was just such a man--a genius--and the first to turn the telescope to the skies to map the heavens. In doing so, he offered objective evidence that the earth was not the fixed center of the universe but that it and all the other planets revolved around the sun. Galileo kept careful notes and made beautiful drawings of all that he observed. Through his telescope he brought the starts down to earth for everyone to see.

By changing the way people saw the galaxy, Galileo was also changing the way they saw themselves and their place in the universe. This was very exciting, but to some to some it was deeply disturbing. Galileo has upset the harmonious view of heaven and earth that had been accepted since ancient times. He had turned the world upside down.

In this amazing new book, Peter Sís employs the artist's lens to give us an extraordinary view of the life of Galileo Galilei. Sís tells his story in language as simple as a fairy tale, in pictures as rich and tightly woven as a tapestry, and in Galileo's own words, written more than 350 years ago and still resonant with truth.
Amazon.com Review
The story of Galileo is at once inspiring and troubling. Thebrilliant astronomer was a celebrated scientist who was showered withhonors and patronage until his greatest discovery--that the earthcircled the sun rather than the other way around--proved to be toomuch of a threat to prevailing orthodoxy. Peter Sis, author of thewonderful children's book Follow the Dream: The Storyof Christopher Columbus, tells Galileo's tale for childrenages 8 and older. A brilliant and sophisticated illustrator and asensitive storyteller, he traces Galileo's life from childhood to hisfinal days as a prisoner of the church. (Click to see a samplespread. © 1996 by Peter Sis. Reprinted by permission of thepublisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.) (Ages 8 and older) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Children's Book
I bought this book for my five year old son just before we went to Florence for vacation.He now loves Galileo.The story is amazingly detailed and historically accurate for a children's book and the art work could not be more beautiful.My son is almost six but I'd say this book is appropriate for a wide range of ages.I even enjoyed it.It is definitely a book worth owning.

5-0 out of 5 stars another great one from sis
Sis is a genius and of all his books I've read with my kids we've loved all of them.Starry Messenger is no exception to his string of hits.His books--ignoring for a moment those like Fire Truck that are basic and seemingly by another author--tend toward the baroque.If one has a strong aversion to busyness then Sis won't appeal to them.

For the rest of us, each page of his books is a wonder.Some critics are correct that he can take his dense aesthetic too far (and he can be too high level for the age group he targets), but mostly the illustrations are beautiful, magical.I have the 2000 edition of Starry Messenger and the narrative text is not difficult to read at all.Other reviewers complain about the readability of the hand written "marginalia" text, but the text to which they refer is more there to flesh out the page visually than to be read: In one case the words are in the shape of an eye.These words are more like interesting background for a reader who wants more information.I don't think that the Shakespeare quotation, for example, should or need be read to children in the middle of the narrative.These are easy to skip and hinder the reading in no way.

Regarding criticisms about whether this text is a definitive children's Galileo biography, I have to smile when I think about my four year old's enjoyment of the book.I suppose if his kindergarten teacher gives him a pop quiz on the astronomer next year he may get a C. (Ditto these comments for my 8 year old.) But his sense of enjoyment and visual edification will be beyond the experience with any other children's book on GG.Bottom line:it's a book for 4 - 10 year olds and succeeds wonderfully with that, not to mention for their parents.

3-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but very hard to read!
Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei is a gorgeous book, full of glorious illustrations that children with patience who like hidden detail will find engrossing.Unfortunately, the book is shy on text.Much of the more important text, especially the words of Galileo himself, is printed in a very hard to read cursive script, oddly sprinkled on the page in a way that often requires the book to be turned sideways, upside down or even round and round.

This would not be my first-choice biography of Galileo if I could have just one.

1-0 out of 5 stars SPIRAL downward in my estimation, as well as voiced by other readers.
I love history.
I love Biblical history.
It seemed as if the illustrator had a "proverbial gun to their head" to get all the text into "X" amount of pages --
thereby printing it every "which way" in order to accomplish this feat.
It wasn't "cute" nor CLEAVER having to read spirals -- in a book that has so much GOOD INFORMATION --
that NOVELTY need not be included!!!

Due to this need for attention -- my score for this book which had been a five star rating did a nose-dive down to one star.

I went to a librarian's meet, where this was a "must read" and in the discussion attended by 30+ librarians, they indicated the "same thought!"

(If there is ever a) next edition -- think twice!

3-0 out of 5 stars Would you like to swing on a star?Carry a moonbeam home in a jar?
I've reviewed a fair amount of Peter Sis books in my day on Amazon.com, but this is the first book by Sis that I've come across that has so many negative/tepid reviews.Now, before I review a book I give its Amazon.com page a once-over to get a feel for what the public at large thinks about the story.Peter Sis is one of those authors who can write extraordinarily simple books for little children (like "Komodo", "Madlenka", or "Fire Truck") then turn around and do mind-bendingly complex picture books in the same breath (like, "Tibet: Through the Red Box", and "Tree of Life")."Starry Messenger" was one of Sis' first forays into this combination of complex and simplistic together.As you can see, it wasn't wholly successful.Though still a visually eye-popping wonder and a tale that makes equal concessions to both young and old readers, the story sacrifices fact for simplification in ways that not everyone will enjoy.I believe that while this book is a necessary addition to any Galileo collection, it should certainly not be the ONLY book on that starry-eyed scientist available to your children.

Right from the get-go we are told that the whole notion of the earth moving around the sun is a bit new.People (and here we are shown a lovely Ptolemaic System of the universe) thought the planets, the moon, and the sun moved around the earth.There's a sudden and brief glimpse on the next page of The Copernican System, but the text tells us that Copernicus never published this idea and that, "it would take someone else to do that...".Enter, someone else.Someone else by the name of Galileo Galilei.Born on February 15, 1564 when Italy was just a quilt of city-states, little Galileo grew up with a healthy scientific curiosity.He invented things, became a young professor, and heard about a remarkable new instrument that would allow the viewer to see far away things near.Being a bright young man, he made his own instrument and pointed it upwards.He sketched the moon, made maps of the heavens, and was the toast of the town.Then The Church took note of his ideas, disliked them heartily, convicted him of heresy, and kept him under house arrest for the rest of his life.Three hundred years later the Church pardoned him.Happy ending for all.The end.

Now, you cannot say that this is one of Sis' more straightforward books, because it isn't.Though certainly his later works contain just as much sheer factual knowledge, "Starry Messenger" doesn't organize its information particularly well.In an attempt to bring the older information together with the younger, Sis will put info for little children at the bottom of a page in large letters and leave the older info at top or mid-page in a kind of squiggly cursive writing.The illustrations, for their part, sometimes apply to both the older and the younger text, and then sometimes have absolutely nothing to do with what has already been written.For example, on the pages that describe Galileo's desire for a newfangled telescope, the older text includes a translation of Galileo's words, the younger text speaks of how the man made his own, and the pictures are an odd hodgepodge of maps, the travels of telescopes, some odd visions of Flanders, and a kind of historical amalgamation of faces, figures, and historical references.It's beautiful to look at.It's hell to understand.

The main objection to "Starry Messenger", as I see it, comes from the book's shaky discussion of why exactly The Church was so upset with the man's ideas.The book says, "he has gone against the Bible", which isn't really true.That was just an interpretation.Still, it leaves the reader a bit confused over whether or not Galileo's conviction was justified or not.Also, factual references, bibliographies, and timelines are non-existent here.Kids doing reports would have to shift through a myriad of oddly hidden dates tucked away on every other page to get the info they need.The book also never makes it clear when it was that Galileo decided to publish the idea that the earth moves around the sun.Suddenly he's been dragged in front of the Pope, and we have no idea why (though the text offers clues).Tis odd.

There is much to like here, of course.The art is just gorgeous.When Galileo stands before the Pope's court, a sea of astrological figures (Pisces, Taurus, Capricorn, etc.) swim about him, like a whirlpool threatening to suck him down.Most people will not notice this, but one of the nicest elements of the hardback version of this book are the endpapers.The first two endpapers show a city that we may take to be 17th century Italy with a tiny Galileo staring through his telescope at the stars.Along the edges of the paper are small scenes in which countless civilizations (from Eskimos to Easter Island) stare up at the flickering sky.The back endpapers initially look the same as the front, but closer inspection reveals that we are suddenly looking at a modern city.Another little figure stares up at the night sky, but this time from a high-rise.Along the edges of the paper are far more contemporary scenes of submarines, airplanes, and high-speed trains.The implication seems to state that any child today can be a modern-day Galileo if they so choose.The choice is theirs.

So this isn't the best Galileo book out there, no.But is it without merit?Not at all!Different books have different functions.If you want a story to read to your child that gives them some basic info on Galileo (and you're willing to fill in the missing pieces yourself) then by all means hand them "Starry Messenger".If, on the other hand, your fourth-grader has just announced that they have a ten-page paper on Galileo due tomorrow and they needs some information immediately.... this book is not for you.It's flawed, sure, but also a visual stunner.A lovely work that shows the scope of Peter Sis if not his storytelling at its best.
... Read more

6. Galileo for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 25 Activities (For Kids series)
by Richard Panchyk
Paperback: 166 Pages (2005-07-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$10.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556525664
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Galileo, one of history's best-known scientists, is introduced in this illuminating activity book. Children will learn how Galileo's revolutionary discoveries and sometimes controversial theories changed his world and laid the groundwork for modern astronomy and physics. This book will inspire kids to be stargazers and future astronauts or scientists as they discover Galileo's life and work. Activities allow children to try some of his theories on their own, with experiments that include playing with gravity and motion, making a pendulum, observing the moon, and painting with light and shadow. Along with the scientific aspects of Galileo's life, his passion for music and art are discussed and exemplified by period engravings, maps, and prints. A time line, glossary, and listings of major science museums, planetariums, and web sites for further exploration complement this activity book.
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Galileo for Kids (book)
This book contains a great amount of useful information about Galileo and his times, with interesting practical applications that kids can relate to, and info that is brought into perspective with nicely presented timelines. This book can be enjoyed by any age, and is certainly useful for studying science, astronomy, inventors, or any other general educational use, including biographies.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
I bought this for my 10 year old who is doing a report on Galileo for school. His report needs to include a written report and 5 other elements such as experiments, maps, timelines etc. This book was a great resource with many ideas for projects to do related to Galileo and his life. My only complaint would be the written text on his life was a bit complex for his reading and writing for his report, a great resource for teachers to teach about Galileo. And many awesome fun experiments and project ideas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most of the activities in this book on Galileo are really scientific experiments
The only real complaint about "Galileo for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 25 Activities," is that I doubt there is a teacher in the country who would spend long enough on the famous scientist to do all of these activities.If they got to double figures that would be pretty impressive, but also somewhat doubtful.However, there are certainly some choice activities in this book by Richard Panchyk (Buzz Aldrin does the foreword) that will not only get young students interested in the life of Galileo but also fan their interest in the sciences.

This book makes it clear that while he is best known as an astronomer, Galileo was a genius who enjoyed science, mathematics, music, and art, and someone who sough the truth and believed there was no substitute for observation and experimentation.Despite being forced by the Church to recant his discovery that the sun was the center of the universe, Panchyk makes it clear that Galileo believed both science and religion help us to know ourselves.After a Timeline that begins with a new star being observed by the Chinese in 1054 to Galileo being reburied with proper honors in 1737, and a map of Italy, this book turns to Science and Astronomy Before Galileo, to set up how important he was in changing things.Astronomers including Peter Apian, Nicolaus Copernicus and Tycho Brahe are covered, as well as the Comet of 1577.The activities here include making initial lunar observations and how to use raw data, so you can see there is an initial focus on scientific metrology.

The second chapter details the Beginnings of Galileo's life, where you not only get to cook a renaissance meal (meatballs and pea soup), but also get to make a pendulum and pulsilogia.In chapter 3, Position at Pisa, Galileo began his career as a scientist.There are also sidebars on Dante, Johannes Kepler, and the Medicis so the religious, scientific and political contexts of the time are covered as well.Activities include not only the famous gravity experiment, put also the properties of the ellipse and the second part of lunar observation.The Telescope is the focus of the next chapter, which includes an aperture experiment and the floating needle experiment.

The Storm Builds is the subject of chapter five, signifying the coming collision between Galileo's science and the religion of the day.Here the activities are the perception of illumination and the mathematical problem represented by the roll of the dice (plus making a care package for Galileo because of the plague).Chapter six covers The Two Systems, with experiments on relative motion and projective motion.However, most of these chapters tell the story of what happened when Galileo was called before the Inquisition.Galileo's Last Days are covered in the last chapter, along with experiments on accelerated motion and charting the cycloid curve. The look at the life and times of Galileo is pretty strong to begin with, so when you add the activities and see that the vast majority of them are practical scientific experiments, then you have to be even more impressed.In fact, I could be wrong: I can now see a teacher breaking up the class into lots of groups and having them do different activities and sharing the results with their classmates, so getting to double figures could be pretty easy (although making meatballs can be seen as being practical too, since kids have to eat).

Throughout the book there are illustrations of the people, places and things in Galileo's life, many of which are contemporary to his time.The back of the book includes several pages of Resources.There are lists of the Popes and Grand Dukes of Tuscany during Galileo's time, a Glossary of Key Terms from "abjuration" to "volume," Key People from Peter and Philip Apian to Vincenzo Viviani, and Key Places from Arcetri to Venice.A list of Galileo's key writings is provided, along with some web sites specific to his life and works, and there is also a list of Planetariums an Astronomy/Space Museums to be found in fourteen states and the District of Columbia.If you are not tired you can also check out the Selected Bibliography before we finally get to the Index.

The final thing that needs to be said is that this is but one volume in the For Kids series.There are over a dozen volumes that I know about for sure.The one's under "A" consist of "Africa for Kids," "American Folk Art for Kids," "The American Revolution for Kids," and "Archaeology for Kids."Those four titles along should give you a good idea of the scope of the series.So teachers might only use a couple of activities from this book, but they can do the same for units on Leonardo da Vinci, Lewis and Clark, the Civil Rights Movement, and know that Chicago Review Press will be adding volumes to this wonderful series for some time to come. ... Read more

7. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican
by Galileo Galilei
 Hardcover: Pages (1967-12)
-- used & new: US$177.74
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Asin: 0520004493
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in Florence in 1632, was the most proximate cause of his being brought to trial before the Inquisition. Using the dialogue form, a genre common in classical philosophical works, Galileo masterfully demonstrates the truth of the Copernican system over the Ptolemaic one, proving, for the first time, that the earth revolves around the sun. Its influence is incalculable. The Dialogue is not only one of the most important scientific treatises ever written, but a work of supreme clarity and accessibility, remaining as readable now as when it was first published. This edition uses the definitive text established by the University of California Press, in Stillman Drake’s translation, and includes a Foreword by Albert Einstein and a new Introduction by J. L. Heilbron. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant translation of a wonderful work
It's not the most alluring of titles, I admit, and even though most people have heard of Galileo and many know enough of his achievements to admire him, I suspect few people would consider reading a book by him.However, I urge you very strongly to buy this book and at least give it a try.It's a wonderful work, full of fascinating and brilliant insights and Stillman Drake's superlative translation makes it extremely readable.It gives a fascinating insight into what Galileo *really* did to annoy the Inquisition and shows his often brilliantly witty and occasionally dangerously sarcastic style.Even to dip into, this book is a monumental pleasure.

Try this, the first few lines of the Introduction - To The Discerning Reader:
"Several years ago there was published in Rome a salutary edict which, in order to obviate the dangerous tendencies of our present age, imposed a seasonable silence upon the Pythagorean opinion that the Earth moves.There were those who impudently asserted that this decree had its origin not in judicious inquiry, but in passion none too well informed.Complaints were to be heard that advisers who were totally unskilled in astronomical observations ought not to clip the wings of reflective intellects by means of rash prohibitions.Upon hearing such carping insolence, my zeal could not be contained..."

I first read that while studying History of Science over thirty years ago, laughed out loud, and read the rest of the book with immense pleasure.It is written in the form of dialogues presided over by Sagredo ("wise man") and conducted between Salviati (really Galileo himself) and the person representing the Church's orthodoxy, whom Galileo christened Simplicio.Tactful, he wasn't, but he was a brilliant physicist and a brilliant author, filling the book with witty and amazingly ingenious arguments resulting in poor Simplicio being confounded at every turn.

I cannot say strongly enough what a pleasure this book is.It really isn't just a tome which will sit on your shelf looking impressive, or which you ought to plough through because it will Do You Good.It's wonderfully enjoyable and hugely rewarding, and I recommend it very highly indeed.

5-0 out of 5 stars All the physics enthusiastic should read
I think one cannot be called "physicist" if never read this book. It is a classic that show how the foundations of the newtonian physics did were created.

And the good thing is this is a suitable book for everyone from the layman to the PHD, easy to read, requires nothing more than basic mathematical concepts and imagination.

The price, already low, is nothing compared to the pleasure of reading such piece of art.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece written by a superb scientist
This is the famous book that got Galileo in trouble with the Inquisition. Galileo Galilei was one of the greatest scientists of all time. In Galileo's time the all powerful Catholic Church had decreedthat the Earth wasat the center of the Universe and that all celestial bodies orbited the Earth. The reasons given for this were Theological in nature, not scientific. According to the Church the Earth was a special place in the Universe, because God had chosen the Earth to be Man's home.By the sixteenth centuryScience had progressed to the point where this view of the Universe became increasingly untenable as it did not agree with observations about planetary motion.To resolve the difficulties created by these observations Copernicus had published fromhis deathbed a new theory proposing that the planets moved around the Sun in nearly circular orbits. Copernicus theory seemed to agree much better with what was known at the time about planetary motion. Galileo being perhaps the greatest scientist of his time immediately saw that the Copernican theory must be right, and debated the matter with people holding the opposite view at the University where he was a renowned professor, Mathematician and Scientist. For a while debates, arguments and counterarguments followed, until in July 1609 Galileo found the definitive proof that the Copernican theory was right. The story has been recounted in the "Starry Messenger" by Galileo. He had seen a toy sold by a Flemish spectacle maker in Venice which made distant objects look like they were near. Galileo bought the toy and did not rest until he had figured out how it worked. He then turned the toy into a scientific instrument, and the first telescope was born. Galileo soon turned his invention towards the heavens, and he almost immediately made a number of groundbreaking discoveries. When he observed Jupiter he noticed that Jupiter had Moons just like the Earth had, and by observing the Moons of Jupiter andJupiter on successive nights he soon discovered that the Moons of Jupiter clearly orbited Jupiter,not the Earth, as they were supposed to by the Ptolomaic theory taught by the Church.This was the definitive proof that the Ptolomaic theory was just plain wrong. He started to teach this but trouble soon ensued. Galileo had been ordered by the Church that he could not discuss the Copernican theoryexcept as a Hypothesis. When Pope Urban VIII became the Pope Galileo was greatly encouraged, because as Cardinal Maffeo Barberini prior to being elected Pope Urban VIII, he had been a great admirer of Galileo. When the new Pope was elected, Galileo had an interview withhim andwas told that he could teach the Copernican theory, but only as a Hypothesis, and hewas not allowed to teach it as the "objective truth". In 1632 Galileo publishedthis great book in which he debated the two systems between three protagonists. One of them called Simplicio (roughly simple-minded) was defending the Ptolomaic Theory and two others called Salviati and Sagredo defended the Copernican view. All the various arguments that had been offered by Simplicio for the Ptolomaic theory were demolishedskillfully one by one by the clever Salviati and Sagredo. Unfortunately Urban VIII got furious, because some of his own arguments ended up in the mouth of Simplicio. He felt that Galileo had made a fool of him, and so he ordered the Inquisition to summon Galileo and he was tried and convicted of Heresy. Galileo protested that he followed the injunction he had been given, and only taught the Theory as a Hypothesis, but the Inquisition's powerful judges did not accept his argument and convicted him. He was placedunder house arrest at his own home, and was forced under the threat of being burned alive, to renounce his theories, which he did. His book was banned, but it was too late. It had already become a best seller, and it soon would be published in translation in foreign lands where the Pope had no power. Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems thus changed History. It has alsogreat relevance to today's World.The religious fanatics of today behave much the same way as the Inquisition had in Galileo's time. They bring forth Theological arguments where science is called for. An example of this is the debate about Darwin's theory of Evolution and natural Selection, the basis for most of modern Biology. In spite of absolutely overwhelming scientific evidence in favor of Darwin, ignorant people todaystill try to discredit Darwin's Theory on essentially Theological not scientific grounds.Evidently, just like the people opposing Galileo who did not succedd, similarly the ignorant Inquisitors of today will not succed. Another example in the modern World are the attempts of theIslamic fascists, who like the Inquisitors in Galileo's time try to forcetheir despicable religious agenda on others by imposition and violence. They will not succeed either, for in the end Reason andScience always prevail.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feels like it should required reading for everyone...
During the [in]famous controversy of Galileo and the Church, the actual point of contention was this very work which Galileo published. In the Dialogue, he was supposed to set forth arguments for and agains the Ptolemaic worldview (the unmoving earth in the centre of the universe) and the Copernican (the earth and other planets going around the sun). This book does that, and brilliantly, showing Galileo's resourcefulness as a scientist, philosopher (at least to an extent!) and writer. The charge against him was that rather than being even-handed, the book was clear support of Copernicanism. This is a non-obvious topic but what is obvious is the importance and magnificence of the work in terms of both the subject matter (the importance of the structure of the universe) and method (a colourful dialogue containing heated debate which spans literally dozens of arguments for and against each system).

The work has 3 characters: Salviati who is a Copernican, Simplicio who is an Aristotelian and follower of the Ptolemaic system, and Sagredo, a non-affiliated but intelligent person. They meet and debate over 4 days. The first deals with the question of whether the substance of the heavens is fundamentally different to the earth as well as some other fundamental assertions of Aristotelianism. The second deals with the earth's daily rotation. The third is about the alleged yearly orbit of the earth around the sun. The fourth (considered by Galileo to be the crown of his argument - which is all the more endearing as it is wrong) is about the cause of the tides.

Reading this is especially interesting because [almost!] all of us believe that the earth goes around the sun, so it's easy to just approach this simplistically. But the reality is, it was an actual matter of debate, as the book shows. And no, Galileo does not *prove* the earth moves (contrary to the blurb at the back of the book), rather he proposes some very good arguments. Reading them critically was great at making me question things I consider fundamental.

As per the edition, it contains a very good, readable translation along with Galileo's margin notes and good footnotes which unfortunately aren't matched to the body text so you have to flip forward and back. The only other disappointment was Einstein's simplistic yay-Galileo-boo-obviously-stupid-Church-and-Aristotelianism introduction. Other than that, it's great great great! An absolute milestone in human thought.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for all educated people
A scientist who can write! Galileo writes with the intent that his readers understand, he meets you more than half way.There is a wonderful forward by Albert Einstein that is worth the price of the book by itself.And the fascinating introduction places Galileo's writing in its historical context.

If you have any interest in the history of science, this is an essential book to read. ... Read more

8. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican, Second Revised edition
by Galileo Galilei
Paperback: 495 Pages (1962-08-01)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520004507
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This 1967 edition of the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is a revision of a 1953 edition.It includes a foreword by Albert Einstein, which is presented in en face German and English versions.The translation itself is based on the definitive National Edition prepared under the direction of Antonio Favaro and published at Florence in 1897. The material specifically added to the text by Galileo himself after publication of the first edition (1632) has been included as well.In addition, the margins of the book include translations of Galileo's own postils (running notes), placed as nearly as possible beside their textual references. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant translation of a wonderful work
It's not the most alluring of titles, I admit, and even though most people have heard of Galileo and many know enough of his achievements to admire him, I suspect few people would consider reading a book by him.However, I urge you very strongly to buy this book and at least give it a try.It's a wonderful work, full of fascinating and brilliant insights and Stillman Drake's superlative translation makes it extremely readable.It gives a fascinating insight into what Galileo *really* did to annoy the Inquisition and shows his often brilliantly witty and occasionally dangerously sarcastic style.Even to dip into, this book is a monumental pleasure.

Try this, the first few lines of the Introduction - To The Discerning Reader:
"Several years ago there was published in Rome a salutary edict which, in order to obviate the dangerous tendencies of our present age, imposed a seasonable silence upon the Pythagorean opinion that the Earth moves.There were those who impudently asserted that this decree had its origin not in judicious inquiry, but in passion none too well informed.Complaints were to be heard that advisers who were totally unskilled in astronomical observations ought not to clip the wings of reflective intellects by means of rash prohibitions.Upon hearing such carping insolence, my zeal could not be contained..."

I first read that while studying History of Science over thirty years ago, laughed out loud, and read the rest of the book with immense pleasure.It is written in the form of dialogues presided over by Sagredo ("wise man") and conducted between Salviati (really Galileo himself) and the person representing the Church's orthodoxy, whom Galileo christened Simplicio.Tactful, he wasn't, but he was a brilliant physicist and a brilliant author, filling the book with witty and amazingly ingenious arguments resulting in poor Simplicio being confounded at every turn.

I cannot say strongly enough what a pleasure this book is.It really isn't just a tome which will sit on your shelf looking impressive, or which you ought to plough through because it will Do You Good.It's wonderfully enjoyable and hugely rewarding, and I recommend it very highly indeed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps a great find?
Found this today at the annual library sale for 25 cents and now that I have read the reviews on Amazon I am anxious to read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars a lovely book
To read this book is to see the Western Mind open to light and fresh air after centuries of stale darkness. This is not to snub the monumental work of Aristotle or Ptolemy but to rue the fact that their writings were clung to as doctrine for so long.

Even in translation, Galileo is a lively, robust, even funny writer. His fiery spirit is especially welcome in these troubled opening years of the 21st century: I kept marking pages for later reference. Some parts of this great book will require work on the reader's part, but the work is so eminently worth it. This edition has copious, interesting notes, too, which make the adventure an even more colorful and full one.

This is no "great grey classic" to be endured, but a living bronco of a book: relevant, ferocious, and of great historical and scientific interest.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Piece of Scientific History
Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems has long had its place in the history books. The work consists of a dialogue between three characters, Salviati, Sagredo, and Simplicio. They gather together over the course of four days to discuss the Ptolemaic and Copernican views of the universe. Ptolemy's system is that of an earth centered universe that aligns with the views of Aristotle, the more popular conception. Copernicus's system is heliocentric. This is a radical opinion of the time and incidentally is the correct one. Salviati supports the Copernican system and Simplicio adheres to the Ptolemaic view. These two refute the ideas of the other and argue for their own. Sagredo is somewhat caught in the middle. However, he ultimately aligns with Salviati on every point. The translator, Stillman Drake, in his introduction, goes over the climate and political forces of Galileo's day along with Galileo's reason's for writing this book. As Drake points out, Galileo is appealing to the public here. It seems that this is Galileo getting in the last word on the argument for a heliocentric universe. This book is also what largely does him in with the Vatican. Galileo dose not directly argue against the church in this book but only against the Aristotelian opinion while showing reverence for divine power.

The best was to describe this book is verbose. It fills 465 pages with small print. Because it is written in conversational tone, perhaps Galileo felt that the extra wording was necessary. It does take some time to read. Drake does an excellent job of making important notes throughout the work. Some of these are geared more for an academic study, but others give needed explanation. Just like we do not have all the answers today, Galileo makes some scientific mistakes. These are few and Drake gives explanations for them. This book is worth the read for its place in history. A brief background in astronomy and even Aristotelian philosophy will benefit the reader. I would also recommend Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, also translated and compiled by Drake.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Edition
The book is well done, I like the type, the notes are informative, the preface by Einstein is by Einstein, and Drake inserts the Italian phrase at the right moments. The book itself is not read as much as it should be--it is an excellent introduction to the history of science and cosmological thought, and an informative specimen of the rhetoric of science at the very moment that rhetoric is derogated by Galileo. For instance, Galileo borrows the valorization of circular motion from Plato and Aristotle (Galileo sides with Plato against Aristotle) and argues that all motion is circular, even freefall, but not circular precisely, but spiral. He is relying in part on the geometry of spirals by--Apollonius?--a good example, to my mind, of the "geometrization of space." The equation of freefall is also demonstrated geometrically in a way that is very elegant. It should also be noted that Simplicio is hardly the fool that he is made out to be--his objections are far more acute than this reader could come up with on his own. The enormous prestige of physics and science is in my opinion one of the greatest obstacles to thinking, and reading Galileo goes a long way towards an appreciation of what mathematical physics is not. ... Read more

9. Galileo Galilei - When the World Stood Still
by Atle Naess
Hardcover: 222 Pages (2005-01-12)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$13.56
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Asin: 3540219617
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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His biography of Galileo won the Brage Award for best Norwegian non-fiction book in 2001

The Norwegian edition has sold nearly 6000 copies

Biographies as a genre are very popular


... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.......
I actually enjoyed reading this text on who I consider, and deserves the title of, "the first scientist," He not only applied what is essentially the modern scientific method to his work, but fully understood what he was doing and laid down the ground rules clearly for others to follow.In addition, the work he did following those ground rules was of immense importance.In the late 16th century, there were others who met some ofthese critieria-but the ones who devoted their lives to what we now call science were often still stuck with a medieval mindset about the relevance of all or part of their work, philosophical significance of the new way of looking at the world were usually only part-time scientists and had little influence on the way others approached the investigagion of the world.It was Galileo who first wrapped everything up in one package. This text seems to wrap up everything quite nicely too in one package.
Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good
Strikes a great balance between detail and readability,
unlike so many biographies whose goal seems to be to
impress the reader with the biographer's mastery of
arcane contemporary details rather than to communicate
knowledge about the principal subject.
Much better than the bio by Reston. ... Read more

10. Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius, Or a Sidereal Message
by Galileo Galilei, Translated from the Latin by William R. Shea, Introduction and Notes by William R. Shea & Tiziana Bascelli
Paperback: 132 Pages (2009-08-26)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$14.95
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Asin: 0881353752
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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An instrument can change the world and compel us to rethink our placein the universe.The telescope did just this, but only when it was usedby Galileo, whose eye was prepared to see new things and whose hand wasable to depict what he saw. It was not only because Galileo was a gifted andpersistent observer, but also because he was an exceptional draughtsman thathe was able to discover what others had failed to see or lacked the ability torecord. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars over priced for used

I imagine a ty-po here. But to be safe, to buy a used book for $124 does not equal a new one for $14.99.

Just sharing this with you.


Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius, Or a Sidereal Message (Paperback)
~ Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei (Author)
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(Author), Translated from the Latin by William R. Shea (Author), Introduction and Notes by William R. Shea & Tiziana Bascelli (Author ... Read more

11. On Sunspots
by Galileo Galilei, Christoph Scheiner
Paperback: 410 Pages (2010-10-30)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$32.08
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Asin: 0226707164
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Galileo’s telescopic discoveries, and especially his observation of sunspots, caused great debate in an age when the heavens were thought to be perfect and unchanging. Christoph Scheiner, a Jesuit mathematician, argued that sunspots were planets or moons crossing in front of the Sun. Galileo, on the other hand, countered that the spots were on or near the surface of the Sun itself, and he supported his position with a series of meticulous observations and mathematical demonstrations that eventually convinced even his rival.


On Sunspots collects the correspondence that constituted the public debate, including the first English translation of Scheiner’s two tracts as well as Galileo’s three letters, which have previously appeared only in abridged form. In addition, Albert Van Helden and Eileen Reeves have supplemented the correspondence with lengthy introductions, extensive notes, and a bibliography. The result will become the standard work on the subject, essential for students and historians of astronomy, the telescope, and early modern Catholicism.

... Read more

12. Galileo
by Bertolt Brecht
 Paperback: 160 Pages (1994-01-11)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$3.91
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Asin: 0802130593
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Considered by many to be one of Brecht's masterpieces, Galileo explores the question of a scientist's social and ethical responsibility, as the brilliant Galileo must choose between his life and his life's work when confronted with the demands of the Inquisition. Through the dramatic characterization of the famous physicist, Brecht examines the issues of scientific morality and the difficult relationship between the intellectual and authority. This version of the play is the famous one that was brought to completion by Brecht himself, working with Charles Laughton, who played Galileo in the first two American productions (Hollywood and New York, 1947). Since then the play has become a classic in the world repertoire. "The play which most strongly stamped on my mind a sense of Brecht's great stature as an artist of the modern theatre was Galileo." - Harold Clurman; "Thoughtful and profoundly sensitive." - Newsweek.
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Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Drama
This was an interesting historical play that educated as well as dramatized.Though, for this reader, it fizzled toward the end.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Any man who does what I have done must not be tolerated in the ranks of science" *
Recently, the American Psychological Association discovered, to its general embarrassment, that a good number its members had collaborated with Pentagon- and CIA-sponsored torturers--or practitioners of "enhanced interrogation."The psychologists had provided expert advice about levels of endurance, psychological techniques for cracking resistance, and so on.

To its credit, the APA formally condemned such collaboration.But the whole sordid incident reminds us (as if we need reminding) that when men and women of science allow their knowledge to be misused, either out of cowardice or misguided patriotism, science can become a horrible tool for exploitation and destruction.This, in a nutshell, is the central theme of Brecht's second version of "Galileo."

The play is one of Brecht's best.Written with a nondidactic hand, the play is anything but dreary socialist realism.At times funny and at other times incredibly sad, the sober message that it is the scientist's responsibility to make sure that his or her discoveries are used properly runs throughout.In abjuring his physics under threats from the Inquisition, Brecht's Galileo displays moral cowardice:first, because he allows established power to usurp his discoveries, and second because he lets down the people who could most profit from his specific discoveries as well as the spirit of unfettered inquiry that generated them.As Galileo says at one point in the play, "The practice of science would seem to call for valor."

Several reviewers have remarked that the introduction by Eric Bentley is long-winded and have accordingly reduced their rating for the book.This strikes me as odd for two reasons.First, presumably one purchases "Galileo" to read Brecht, not attached commentary.If the commentary is good, that's just a bonus.But the center of attention surely is the play itself.Second, for all his long-windedness, Bentley's thesis is cogent and, I think, important:that historical drama properly seeks to shed light on its own time by appealing to past events.It's not important that Brecht reinvents Galileo for his play.After all, he isn't writing history.What's significant is the way in which Galileo becomes a symbol that can shed light on our own understanding of science and moral responsibility.Truth ought never to be reduced simply to fact.
* Galileo's final self-judgment, Scene 13 (p. 124).

3-0 out of 5 stars The frailty of man
This book shows the scientific insights of Galileo and his stand againt the religious authorities, along with his collapse in the face of personal threat.

4-0 out of 5 stars IN DEFENCE OF SCIENCE
The pressures that the established order can bring to bear on those who want to move outside the status quo are enormous. In the end those in charge can grind down the best of men with the most worthy knowledge to disseminate.That is the story that the master communist playwright Bertolt Brecht brings here about the pressures to recant brought on Galileo by the Catholic Church in the 1500's.And for what crime? For merely bringing out facts about the nature of the world and its place in the universe that are taken as commonplaces, even by children, today.

Brecht himself certainly knew about such pressures. Although in public, at least, Brecht was a fairly orthodox Stalinist he had his private moments of doubt. Certainly some of the themes in his plays stretch the limits of the orthodox `socialist realist' cultural program. Thus the strongest part of the play is the struggle between an individual who is onto something new about the world and an institution that saw that such a discovery would wreak havoc on its claims to centrality. Every once in a while a section of humankind turns inward on itself like that and here the Church was no exception. Damn, the fight against such obscurantism is the price that we pay for some sense of human progress. Except, as in the case of the Catholic Church, it should not have taken 300 years to admit the error. Know this. We have to defend the Galileos of the world against the rise of obscurantism. And in this play Brecht has done his part to honor that commitment.

3-0 out of 5 stars ** 1/2 (**** for the play, zero for Bentley's comments)
Galileo is presented from the time of his first findings with which Mother Church took offense until twenty years after his recantation. While the play mainly focuses on Galileo and how his own views toward his work affect him and those around him, we're not allowed to go away without understanding how those views also affected the Italian society around him; as with all things, the subversion to be found in Galileo's discovery that the Earth revolves around the Sun instead of vice-versa seeps into the public mind, much to the Church's dismay. But at its heart, the play is about the man himself and those around him. Galileo himself, historically accurate or not, is a convincing character, and his family, friends, and supporters are also very well-drawn (with the arguable exception of his daughter, who never seems to really flesh out and become a believable human being; her actions and reactions are predictable and wooden). Whatever the message underlying, and whether the reader agrees with it or not, Galileo is first and foremost a decent piece of drama. Leave Bentley's preface until after you've drawn your own conclusions. ... Read more

13. The Cambridge Companion to Galileo
 Kindle Edition: 476 Pages (1998-08-13)
list price: US$39.99
Asin: B001AP2VYW
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This collection of essays is unparalleled in the depth of its coverage of all facets of Galileo's work. A particular feature of the volume is the treatment of Galileo's relationship with the Church. It will be of particular interest to philosophers, historians of science, cultural historians and those in religious studies. New readers and nonspecialists will find this the most convenient, accessible guide to Galileo available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Galileo. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Galileo the Genius
I used this book as a way to understand Galileo's laws of motion. I never ceased to be amazed at how he came up with so much with so little. Our current scientists owe him an insurmountable debt. The scholarship is top-notch. ... Read more

14. Sidereus Nuncius, or The Sidereal Messenger
by Galileo Galilei
Paperback: 135 Pages (1989-04-15)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$7.50
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Asin: 0226279030
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"This fine translation is a god-send. . . . Surely you want to read what Galileo wrote.If so buy this book.Van Helden's introduction is scholarly; no one knows more about Galileo's telescope; the translation is superb; Van Helden's review of the reception of the Sidereal Messenger is profound; the bibliography is extensive.What more can I say?"--David W. Hughes, The Observatory

"[Sidereus nunclus] has never before been made available in its entirety in a continuous form, with full notes and comment.The introduction, translation and notes by Van Helden are a splendid example of the best scholarship and fullest accessibility. . . . we can now truly get to grips with the phenomenon of Galileo and what his life and work should mean to us today."--Robert Temple, Nature ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Read this edition of this classic little book
Everyone interested in Astronomy should buy this edition of this classic little book, it's a quick read. Galileo's text conveys his excitement as he is telling people what he's seen with his new instruments, and you can sense his joy as he explains to the philosophers, academics and clerics that he now knows, knows and can prove (!), that the world is very different from what they have long taught!

The book is essentially two essays: the original Galileo text (in translation) with his drawings, and interesting background and context material by Van Helden on Galileo, telescopes, and astronomy of the time. Galileo here is putting down on paper the record of his first few months of observing, so there's a fair amount of detail, some interesting and some not so interesting (like page after page showing the alignment of the four satellites of Jupiter), but with the addition of Van Helden's background material the result is nice little book.

One little tidbit of Galileo's that I enjoyed, which I have not seen elsewhere, was his simple explanation of how his observations of the moon's light/dark terminator allowed him to calculate the height of mountains on the moon. He got 4 miles, which with a little trigonometry anyone can check.

4-0 out of 5 stars got it
description as described but took a little while longer than the other books I ordered at the same time getting here.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent translation with good context
Sometimes reading the great works of literature- be they scientific, historical, fictional or otherwise- is a chore.The language is often stilted and the reasons for an author touching on a given subject are not entirely clear.Not so with this excellent translation of Galileo's "Starry Messenger" or, as he called it in the original latin, Sidereus Nuncius.Albert van Helden has provided us with an excelent and wonderfully readable translation of one of the most thrilling "messages" of the last thousand years:that is, that the universe is much more than it seems to the naked eye.

Van Helden divides his book into three sections:First, he gives a well researched, well footnoted, introduction to Galieo and his times. We learn about the invention of the telescope (then called the "Spyglass")- an exceptionally crude instrument by even the most modest of today's standards. Van Helden tells his story with abundantquotes from the writings of Galileo's contemporaries.Amongst other things, we learn that another astonomer, Thomas Harriot, may have observed the moon with a telescope somewhat before Galileo, but that his observations, through an inferior instrument, did not reveal much more than could be seen with the naked eye. We learn about the then dominant view of the univserse, the geocentric "Aristotelean" model and the arguments given in favor of it.We also learn about Galileo himself.The publication of the "Starry Messenger," was, it seems, a bit of a rush job, as a financially strapped Galileo wanted priority for his discoveries and the position and money that he though would go with it.

We also learn that while Galileo didn't invent the telescope (or SpyGlass) he greatly improved it from an almost totally useless instrument, to a useful, merely wretched, one (again, by today's standards.)

The middle section is Galileo's "Starry Messenger" itself.The text is brief and only strays a bit from a simple recounting of his observations to explain such things as his deduction of the height of the moons' mountains.Galileo wrote with a wide and not necessarily scientific audience in mind and he took their preconceptions into account when cobbling together his "message".This makes his thought process easy to follow.(Van Helden's translation uses apropriately contemporary English.)It's a delight to read about Galileo's observations and follow his careful (though sometimes incorrect) reasoning about what he has seen. There are delighful reproductions of Galileo's illustrations of the moon, stars, and Jupiter's satellites.

Armed with the knowledge and sense of the times that Van Helden has given us, Galileo's discoveries feel as revolutionary as they were.(Quite a feat, given our current view of the universe.) Having learnedthat the Aristotelians thought of the universe as somehow different, more perfect, than the "corrupted" terrestrial world, Galileo's observations of the moon take on great significance.Galileo wonders in amazement at the multitudes of stars his telescope reveals and gives a few sample drawings of some "nebular" regions of the Milky Way- which he discovers are mere assemblages of stars too faint to make out individually, but which cumulatively present to the eye a cottony appearance.

The least readable portion of Galileo's writing is also the most significant and carefully presented: his discovery and observations of the "Medician" moons- as he dubbed them, we now refer to them as the four "Galilean" moons. Galileo makes it clear that he, early in his observations of the planet Jupiter, sensed the three (later four) "stars" that he had discovered whirling about Jupiter were significant.He proceeds to carefully, and monotonously, document several weeks of observations of what he comes to consider planets.That he chose to do this in such a thorough way, however, is telling.Despite his desire to publish early and claim priority, Galileo wanted to assure his readers that what he was seeing was real.

Throughout the text, the translator provides footnotes explaining some of Galileo's mistakes, later changes of thought, and the context of a given argument.I came away from the text knowing exactly what Galileo was attempting to convey, and the few places where he went wrong (for instance, in surmising that the moon had a thick atmosphere).

The third section is similar to the first and covers the immedate reaction to the publication of the Sidereus Nuncius- which Galileo sent to as many heads of state as he could, often sending a spyglass along with the text so that observations could be repeated.Van Helden outlines many of the objections to Galieo's claim that he had discovered the moon to be rough and Jupiter to be surrounded by satellites of its own.The most significant of these objections was grounded, once again, in the Aristotelian logic of the day which claimed that one could learn all there was to learn about the world with the unaided senses.In other words, people didn't believe that the telescope (the first instrument to extend human senses beyond their natural talents) could be trusted to present reality.

Van Helden only briefly hints at Galileo's subsequent trial and trouble with the Church.This seems apropriate, however, considering that, at the time of its publication, some of Galileo's most ardent supporters were not other "natural philosophers" or"mathmeticians"- who, Van Helden demonstrates, were sometimes jealous and harshly critical- but some members of the Church- his sponsors.

All in all, this is a wonderful introduction to the times and discoveries of Galileo.It's a great book to read for those who enjoyed Galileo's Daughter and other biographies one of the world's first true scientists.That the words "Starry Messenger" do not appear in the title might throw a few potential readers off its trail in their search for a good translation, and this is a shame- let's hope that Amazon's new search engine brings this one up from the depths.

5-0 out of 5 stars Significant Work
This book will help you understand just how much Galileo affected and reflected the science of the time and even the science of today. I had the privilage of taking Prof. Van Helden's courses at Rice U. and they were some of the most informational and facinating courses I took. He is now emeritus, but hopefully that means we can look forward to more excellent translations and commentary in the years to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Starry Message in Galileo's Own Words
This new translation, with introduction, conclusion, and notes, by famed author Albert Van Helden is a wonderful reading of Galileo Galilei's timeless classic, Sidereus Nuncius.For all who are astronomy fans, Van Helden, Professor of History at Rice University, gives readers a glimpse of the man, Galileo, and his earth-shattering findings.In his book,Sidereus Nuncius, or the Sidereal Messenger, Galileo describes his reinvention of the refracting telescope and his subsequent astronomical discoveries.Never before has a scientific instrument had a more dramatic impact than that of Galileo's telescope.It not only advanced scientific knowledge, but affected personal philosophy and religion by upsetting the traditional belief of the Earth as the center of the universe.Galileo's work challenged the geocentric cosmology that had been accepted since the days of Aristotle.If Galileo's discoveries and carefully documented observations were true, people had to accept the fact that the Earth was not at the center of the universe.This was very difficult for people in the 17th century to accept because it went against long held beliefs.. Add Galileo's analysis of an imperfect moon and people were force to reevaluate history,science, and their personal religions.Galileo opened the door to the truth about our heliocentric universe; however, few people of his day were prepared to accept it.Van Helden's translation, based on the original 1610 Latin text, is a wonderful book for all those who enjoy gazing into the heavens on a clear, star-filled night in wonder.Galileo Galilei did the same.Everyone will enjoy reading Sidereus Nuncius, as Galileo's voice echoes down the centuries and brings his amazing discoveries to life. ... Read more

15. Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography
by Stillman Drake
Paperback: 536 Pages (1995-08)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$77.99
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Asin: 0486286312
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This fascinating, scholarly study by one of the world's foremost authorities on Galileo offers a vivid portrait of one of history's greatest minds. Rather than focusing on the philosophical implications of Galileo's work, this study examines his enduring scientific achievements. Detailed accounts, including many excerpts from Galileo's own writings, offer insights into his work on motion, mechanics, hydraulics, strength of materials, and projectiles; his construction of telescopes and pioneering astronomical observations; his theory of tides; and many other enduring scientific legacies. Unabridged republication of the 1978 edition. 36 black-and-white illustrations.
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Galileo at Work
This book is a classic, so it isn't clear what I could add to available information about it.There's a reason it's a classic, and in my opinion, another printing is needed.

Stillman Drake is a recognized biographer of Galileo.This book is the product of painstaking work.It is intended for one who is interested in how Galileo arrived at his conclusions, how his mind managed to focus on relevant physical quantities and discover mathematical relationships between them.The stark departure of this process from previous "philosophical" thinking is evident from the protests of the philosophers of his day.

Drake has added a section giving brief biographical sketches of the people with whom Galileo interacted.His footnotes trace the careful research that went into the book.

-Jerome Hudson
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16. Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
by Dava Sobel
Paperback: 432 Pages (2000-11-01)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$2.98
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Asin: 0140280553
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Galileo Galilei's telescopes allowed him to discover a new reality in the heavens. But for publicly declaring his astounding argument--that the earth revolves around the sun--he was accused of heresy and put under house arrest by the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Living a far different life, Galileo's daughter Virginia, a cloistered nun, proved to be her father's greatest source of strength through the difficult years of his trial and persecution.

Drawing upon the remarkable surviving letters that Virginia wrote to her father, Dava Sobel has written a fascinating history of Medici--era Italy, a mesmerizing account of Galileo's scientific discoveries and his trial by Church authorities, and a touching portrayal of a father--daughter relationship. Galileo's Daughter is a profoundly moving portrait of the man who forever changed the way we see the universe.

• Winner of the Christopher Award and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award

• Named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and the American Library AssociationAmazon.com Review
Everyone knows that Galileo Galilei dropped cannonballs offthe leaning tower of Pisa, developed the first reliable telescope, andwas convicted by the Inquisition for holding a heretical belief--thatthe earth revolved around the sun. But did you know he had a daughter? In Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel (author of the bestselling Longitude) tellsthe story of the famous scientist and his illegitimate daughter,Sister Maria Celeste. Sobel bases her book on 124 surviving letters tothe scientist from the nun, whom Galileo described as "a woman ofexquisite mind, singular goodness, and tenderly attached to me." Theirloving correspondence revealed much about their world: the agonies ofthe bubonic plague, the hardships of monastic life, even Galileo'soccasional forgetfulness ("The little basket, which I sent yourecently with several pastries, is not mine, and therefore I wish youto return it to me").

While Galileo tangled with the Church, Maria Celeste--whose adoptedname was a tribute to her father's fascination with theheavens--provided moral and emotional support with her frequentletters, approving of his work because she knew the depth of hisfaith. As Sobel notes, "It is difficult today ... to see the Earth atthe center of the Universe. Yet that is where Galileo found it." Withher fluid prose and graceful turn of phrase, Sobel breathes life intoGalileo, his daughter, and the earth-centered world in which theylived. --Sunny Delaney ... Read more

Customer Reviews (254)

5-0 out of 5 stars The genius revealed along with his daughter's love
Galileo's brilliance couples with his unique, loving, enduring relationship with his oldest daughter provides a wonderful read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly rich
I had absolutely no idea what I would find in this book.Was Galileo's daughter someone who followed in his shoes or otherwise became famous?I did not know.I am just reading books about Renaissance Italy these days and it was laying around our house.

It took a while to get what the author was up to, and yes it can be a little dry as one recent reviewer titles her review, but if you stick with it, it is a very rich story that could easily be made into a Oscar-worthy movie.I will not spoil the book by telling you how it ends but the end very much had the feeling of a great movie script unfolding.

In this book, you get a modest sized but very functional biography of Galileo, you get a sketchy but again perfectly functional biography of his daughter, both woven around each other, and you get a very good sense of what the society of the time did to both of them.

That's really all I want to say but I do very much recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Drifting Into the Splendor of Inspired and Spiritual Minds....
Dava Sobel has a gift for sailing one smoothly along a vast flowing river of a story.Her writing is like none other, and I somehow leave feeling spiritually lifted, and intellectually more alive.In "Galileo's Daughter" she journey's through war, conflict, despair, plague, and all the travails of Medieval life, of one of history's more brilliant and spiritual minds.Through the remaining historical letter's of Suror Maria Celeste, Galileo Galeli's eldest daughter, she re-creates a most rare and beautiful father-daughter relationship, and an unbounded love between a parent and a child, a faith and science. This story is truly a gift to read!

4-0 out of 5 stars Dry
Found this book to be very dry.
It is really Galileo's story
as his daughter was cloistered in a convent by him.
However the relationship between science and the Church is fascinating.

4-0 out of 5 stars Galileo's Daughter Review
Galileo's Daughter: a Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love is a heartwarming and scientific book about Galileo Galilei's life and his relationship with his Daughter, Sour Maria Celeste. Even though s called Galileo's Daughter: a Historical Memoir of science, Faith, and Love it is actually about Galileo Galilei's accomplishments n his time period of life in science and math. This book tells you how he figured out his theories and wrote them down to figure out was to prove them. It also tells you how he communicates with his daughter, who is a nun, by writing letters back and forth without ever really seeing each other. He figures that she is a smart and intelligent person that reminds him a lot of himselfwould advise you to read this book because even though you are reading a book and learning about the science that Galileo has discovered n his time, t also warms your heart knowing that he has love and faith in what he does even though other people don't believe him. He has to go through a lot to be able to prove him science to the people so that people will stop calling him a liar and unfaithful to his religion. He wasn't trying to prove n what he believe and also trying to please his religion and faith. He knew that some people would understand and eventually other scientist did when he rolled with their theories and they rolled with his. This is why I believe this is such a great book and recommend it to you. ... Read more

17. Galileo: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Stillman Drake
Paperback: 152 Pages (2001-06-07)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$5.97
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Asin: 0192854569
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In a startling reinterpretation of Galileo's trial, Stillman Drake advances the hypothesis that Galileo's prosecution and condemnation by the Inquisition was caused not by his defiance of the Church but by the hostility of contemporary philosophers. Galileo's own beautifully lucid arguments are used in this volume to show how his scientific method was utterly divorced from the Aristotelian approach to physics; it was based on a search not for causes but for laws. Galileo's methods had an overwhelming significance for the development of modern physics, and they led to a final parting of the ways between science and philosophy. Now, in this extraordinary and concise introduction, Drake provides a stimulating view of Galileo's life and works, providing a fresh perspective on Galileo's methodology and his final incrimination. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sacrificed to Aristotle and the Gods of Philosopohy
In this slim volume is packed the central thesis of one of the foremost students of Galileo:
1) that Galileo was not a victim of the inquisition but rather the Aristotelean method of reasoning particulars of Science from theoretical ideas. Galileo thought that experience, measurability and prediction should be the guide. Grand ideas he left to the Church and philosophers. Perhaps he was a little too naive in assuming that the inquisition would leave him alone. But it was in the defence of Aristotle that the inquisition indicted him. Not mere religious intolerance (which of course there was plenty).

The other observation was the in-fighting and jockeying inside the academic community for political and religious favour -- the competition for well-paying university seats was intense and Galileo was a direct victim of academics who ruthlessly pilloried him to gain favour.

2) Galileo was no crusader directly challenging the power of the church. He in fact had many freinds as high-archbishops and even a was a personal friend of the Pope. His desire was never to challenge the church and the church only very reluctantly charged him with "teaching" the doctrine of Copernicus and Kepler.

This is a great jumping off point for further studies on Galileo. I love this series. ... Read more

18. The Church And Galileo (Studies in Science and the Humanities from the Reilly Center for Science Technology and Values)
Hardcover: 408 Pages (2005-08-30)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$58.00
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Asin: 0268034834
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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This collection of first-rate essays aims to provide an accurate scholarly assessment of the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and Galileo. In 1981, Pope John Paul II established a commission to inquire into the Church’s treatment of Galileo "in loyal recognition of wrongs, from whatever side they came," hoping this way to "dispel the mistrust . . . between science and faith." When the Galileo Commission finally issued its report in 1992, many scholars were disappointed by its inadequacies and its perpetuation of old defensive stratagems. This volume attempts what the Commission failed to provide—a historically accurate, scholarly, and balanced account of Galileo and his difficult relationship with the Roman Catholic Church.

Contributors provide careful analyses of the interactions of the Church and Galileo over the thirty years between 1612 and his death in 1642. They also explore the attitudes of theologians to the Copernican innovation prior to Galileo's entry into the fray; survey the political landscape within which he lived; assess the effectiveness (or otherwise) of censorship of his work; and provide an analysis and occasional critique of the Church’s later responses to the Galileo controversy. The book is divided into three sections corresponding to the periods before, during, and after the original Galileo affair. Particular attention is paid to those topics that have been the most divisive among scholars and theologians. The Church and Galileo will be welcomed by all those interested in early modern history and early modern science. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb resource
For the student of Galileo, I can't think of a better collection of superb papers, most of them inspired by the recent opening of the Archives of the Holy Office. Essays include a review of how Copernicus' work was viewed by the Church prior to Galileo's work, as well as excellent pieces on the documents related to Galileo's trial. Contributors include all the leading Galileo scholars, including William Shea, the late Mariano Artigas and McMullin himself. While the authors are rightly critical of the Church's role in the affair, they point out, given the documentation and testimony, that Galileo's own actions ---over the course of the initial general injunction against Copernicus (1616) to the time of his own abjuration (1633) --set himself up to at least the credible perception of having dealt deviously with the Holy Office even if he did not.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some Valuable Information; Some Tendentiousness
All in all, this book seems to take a rather harsh view of the Church and its condemnation of Galileo. Most of the authors in this volume are of the opinion that the Church had drifted towards a hyperliteral interpretation of Scripture as a result of the controversies surrounding the Reformation of the previous century. Interestingly enough, however, the Copernican view had been widely known for several decades before it was condemned in the form of Galileo's teachings. Galileo's arrogance in pressing his views is recognized as one factor, but not the only factor, in the Church's approach towards Galileo's views. The authors of this book seem to fail to remember that the Church was and is a conservative institution in that part of its mission is to protect humananity from potentially-malevolent new teachings and movements. If it sometimes errs in condemning new views that later turn out to be correct or beneficial, then it should not be overly criticized for having done so.

The Galileo affair inevitably recounts the issue of how Scripture is to be understood. Perhaps the most interesting content of this book is the analysis of Augustine and his interpretation of the Book of Genesis. Augustine is often portrayed as someone who took a figurative approach to the Creation account. In actuality, as elaborated by article-author McMullin (pp. 90-93), there were extrinsic reasons that motivated Augustine to depart from a straightforward reading of Genesis. Augustine had been a Manichaean, and, even after his return to Christianity, had been intimidated by the Manichaean's characterization of the Creation account as "primitive and incoherent". It was then that Augustine began to vacillate, back and forth, between a literal acceptance of the Creation account and various figurative interpretations. Augustine was quoted as thinking that a literal interpretation was "nearly impossible", and so his tendentiousness towards nonliteral interpretations of Genesis are readily understandable.

1-0 out of 5 stars McMullin's Vigilantism
McMullin's Vigilantism

The Vatican launched the Galileo Commission in 1981 to achieve "a frank recognition of wrongs" in the Galileo affair, and it concluded in 1992 that Galileo's condemnation was due to "tragic mutual incomprehension".

In his "Introduction" to this book the Reverend Ernan McMullin, once Philosophy Department Chairman for Notre Dame University, portrays the Commission's 1992 conclusion as a failure to abide by its mandate and calls it a "grave disappointment."

No one expects that the Vatican will again dictate to science, as it had to Galileo.And everything in this book had been previously known, not withstanding the opening of the Vatican archives.Furthermore no objective historian or professional philosopher would be "disappointed" in the Vatican as McMullin says he is.

McMullin seems to view the Vatican's Galileo Commission as a failed vigilance committee. It appears to me that the reverend's attitude suggests a fantasy role as an Old Testament prophet with a messianic reform mission on behalf of science, a reformer who is seeking the Vatican's confessional atonement for a covenant infidelity.

Vatican bashing three hundred fifty years after the Galileo event is not disinterested scholarship.In this book McMullin has donned the mantle of the reforming vigilante editor, who has rounded up his posse of contributors, and is in hot pursuit of a public-humiliation agenda.

I personally witnessed McMullin's reformist behavior while a graduate student at Notre Dame University.This reverend's continuing campaign leveraging the Galileo affair to reform the Vatican is perfectly consistent with his character, as I knew him. Not satisfied with forcing reform on Notre Dame students, he has gone big game hunting by taking aim at the Vatican.

As the Vatican's Galileo Commission reported in 1992, "mutual incomprehension" is a historical fact.This conclusion is both supported and explained by the contemporary pragmatist philosophy of language, which reveals how the nearly unbreakably tenacious grip of the then-conventional geocentric semantics bound the Vatican and scholars of the time to the geocentric cosmology.

In his Against Method (Fourth Edition) the contemporary pragmatist philosopher Paul Feyerabend explained how a new observational semantics had to be forged by Galileo.He described an interpretative practice that he called "counterinduction", whereby a pioneering scientist reinterprets convincingly falsifying observations using the semantics defined by his new theory.And he specifically described Galileo's use of this counterinduction practice to create a new observation language based on the semantics of the heliocentric theory.Galileo was not unique in this practice.In his Physics and Beyond, Encounters and Conversations Heisenberg described his use of this same practice to develop his uncertainty relations for quantum theory.

Feyerabend's counterinduction thesis offers a much more insightful new understanding of Galileo than any documents newly discovered in or released from the Vatican archives. As a succession of Pontiffs has disregarded McMullin's arrogant demand that they assume the role of the confessing public sinner, McMullin's frustration has become shriller over the years.

Nowhere is McMullin's frustration more manifest than in his "Quoting Feyerabend on Galileo", Irish Theological Quarterly (2008).In this paper McMullin attacked Benedict XVI for having earlier referenced Feyerabend in connection with the Galileo affair. In 2009 I wrote a rejoinder to McMullin's article titled "Understanding Feyerabend on Galileo" in the same academic journal, and exposed McMullin's know-nothing dismissive attitude toward Feyerabend's insights and his arrogance toward the Pontiff.I see McMullin's book as shallow in philosophical understanding.

For a better resource than McMullin's book I refer readers to Paul Cardinal Poupard's Galileo Galilei: Toward a Resolution of 350 Years of Debate, 1633-1983 (Institute for World Concerns Series).The Galileo affair was cultural phenomenon, and Poupard was president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.He was also responsible for coordinating the Galileo Commission's conclusion, and in 1992 presented the Commission's final report to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Another superior resource is Dudley Shapere's Galileo: A Philosophical Study.This book was written before Feyerabend published his counterinduction thesis in 1975.But Shapere is a leading Galileo scholar in the U.S., and his book is an interesting examination of Galileo from the viewpoint of earlier philosophers.Unlike McMullin's, Shapere's book has philosophical substance.And Shapere also identifies and corrects an egregious blunder in an earlier book on Galileo by McMullin, who failed to understand Galileo's text.

For more on Feyerabend's analysis of Galileo's writings I invite readers to google my on-line book History of Twentieth-Century Philosophy of Science (BOOK VI) at my dot-com web site, philsci, which offers free on-screen reading of the entire book and free printable downloads by chapter.

Thomas J. Hickey
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19. Galileo Galilei: First Physicist (Oxford Portraits in Science)
by James MacLachlan
Hardcover: 128 Pages (1997-10-16)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$14.99
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Asin: 0195093429
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Examines the personality, thought processes, scientific discoveries, and life of an important figure who helped to shape our understanding of the natural world. ... Read more

20. Galileo: A Life
by James Jr. Reston
Paperback: 332 Pages (2000-01-20)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$17.82
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Asin: 189312262X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The dramatic story of an era during which science and religion were one and where one man dared to defy the only power on earth that was able to bring him to his knees. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece!
Galileo: A Life is a masterpiece biography!I loved it!Well written, and so informative about this genius' struggle with the power of The Vatican.A must read for anyone who has an interest in astronomy and/or Italy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Alas the power of a Church with civil authority
This book gives a prime example of why our forefathers wanted to keep the Church and the Governemnt separate.What the church, the Catholic Church specifically, did to Galileo simply because he dared to embrace the belief that the earth revolved around the sun was tragic.Once again the author takes historical, truthful data and tells an emotional story of a tragic, historical event.This book is a must for everyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beyond the science & religion collision
This is a fine biography that brings to life one of the greatest men to advance our civilization.I read this book because I have always found the relationship of Galileo's ideas and the Roman Catholic Church to be one of the most intriguing chapters in church history. The book goes back to his childhood and highlights his major intellectual accomplishments and his relationships with family members and friends. His illegitimate children and how they were percieved by society was an eye opener. As a result he sent his daughters to the convent because no one would want to marry them. I wonder how many other women ended up nuns as a result? His days while attending school were very interesting, his university teaching jobs more interesting, his relationships with other intellectuals and politicians of his age even more interesting but his relationship after presenting his scientific theories on movement of the heavenly bodies the most fascinating. It makes you wonder about the church and some of the science that it is at odds with today won't be looked at years down the line as backwards and wrong as well. The time period of Galileo's life is brought to life to reveal all of its majesty and warts.I found myself wanting to read more about Galileo after reading this book and have since read another entitled "Galileo's Daughter." What a brilliant mind and tragic figure Galileo was. If you like history or biographies this will be a good book for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great addition to Galileo library
If you already know something about Galileo, this book will be a wonderful addition to your knowledge base. If you are a newcomer, this book is a good introduction, but it will leave you wishing you knew more about his experimental method, his scientific writing, and his inventions. This book places Galileo in the context of his time and place -- and showing how he influenced his era (and eras after) -- and it also leaves you wanting a more traditional biography that tells you more about what Galileo did.

2-0 out of 5 stars Galileo: A Life
If you are looking for a biography that discusses Galileo's scientific work, you will be disappointed.Reston must, of course, mention this great thinker's discoveries, but that is as far as it goes.There is little about the influence of his discoveries on the scientific community or how it shaped the world afterwards.I would have expected this to be one of the central themes considering the subject of this biography. The book deals almost exclusively with Galileo's struggles with the church.It is obvious that Reston has no scientific background.He should have picked someone else to write about.
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