Customer Reviews for

Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended

I first read essays by Neil deGrasse Tyson when I subscribed to Natural History magazine. As someone with no academic background in the sciences I was enthralled to read articles by an astrophysicist that I could actually comprehend. Every piece in his Universe series ...
I first read essays by Neil deGrasse Tyson when I subscribed to Natural History magazine. As someone with no academic background in the sciences I was enthralled to read articles by an astrophysicist that I could actually comprehend. Every piece in his Universe series was spectacular and thought provoking. I strongly recommend his 2007 book, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, a collection of essays he wrote for the magazine during the period from 1995 to 2007. His sheer brilliance combined with an elegant simplicity of writing and his trademark sense of humor take the reader on a fascinating excursion into galaxies, black holes and The Big Bang. Tyson¿s latest book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier also does not disappoint. This collection, beautifully edited by Avis Lang, focuses on the ¿Why,¿ ¿How,¿ and ¿Why Not,¿ of space exploration covering fifteen years of essays, articles, speeches, and interviews plus 53 ¿Space Tweets¿ cleverly interspersed throughout the book. Tyson, who is also the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History in NYC, is an articulate and passionate advocate of investment in space research and exploration. He effectively counters complaints, heard even from those in the progressive community, that too much money is spent on NASA¿s budget. One urgent example: our ability to track the path of Apophis, the killer asteroid coming in our direction that could pass within a narrow range of altitudes called ¿the keyhole¿ in 2029? Should that happen, Earth¿s gravity will cause Apophis to slam into our planet in 2036 creating a tsunami that would be catastrophic for the west coast of North America, Hawaii, and the islands of the Pacific Rim. Perhaps saving our planet from global extinction might be reason enough for the naysayers to re-think their position on NASA funding (which by the way is much less than most people think). Sadly though, scientific literacy has been on the decline. Tyson points out that a recent survey found that one in five adults in the U.S. believes that the Sun revolves around the earth and that only 20 to 25% of the population can be considered scientifically literate. This might explain why some politicians feel comfortable disavowing the theory of evolution or ignoring the scientific data about climate change. By contrast, it¿s invigorating to read a book that reminds us of the successes (and failures) of the space program and underscores the way in which the accomplishments of NASA in the 1960s and 1970s inspired a generation to aspire to study science and aim for the stars. In the epilogue, Tyson lays out his ¿cosmic perspective¿ ¿ and it is truly breathtaking to read. Don¿t miss it!!!

posted by FrancescaNYC on November 13, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Watch the free Daily Show Interview instead

Tyson repeats the same arguments over and over in different ways. While there are some interesting anecdotes, the bulk of the book is in the 10 minute interview.

posted by 8452857 on March 4, 2012

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  • Posted November 13, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I first read essays by Neil deGrasse Tyson when I subscribed to Natural History magazine. As someone with no academic background in the sciences I was enthralled to read articles by an astrophysicist that I could actually comprehend. Every piece in his Universe series was spectacular and thought provoking. I strongly recommend his 2007 book, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, a collection of essays he wrote for the magazine during the period from 1995 to 2007. His sheer brilliance combined with an elegant simplicity of writing and his trademark sense of humor take the reader on a fascinating excursion into galaxies, black holes and The Big Bang. Tyson¿s latest book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier also does not disappoint. This collection, beautifully edited by Avis Lang, focuses on the ¿Why,¿ ¿How,¿ and ¿Why Not,¿ of space exploration covering fifteen years of essays, articles, speeches, and interviews plus 53 ¿Space Tweets¿ cleverly interspersed throughout the book. Tyson, who is also the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History in NYC, is an articulate and passionate advocate of investment in space research and exploration. He effectively counters complaints, heard even from those in the progressive community, that too much money is spent on NASA¿s budget. One urgent example: our ability to track the path of Apophis, the killer asteroid coming in our direction that could pass within a narrow range of altitudes called ¿the keyhole¿ in 2029? Should that happen, Earth¿s gravity will cause Apophis to slam into our planet in 2036 creating a tsunami that would be catastrophic for the west coast of North America, Hawaii, and the islands of the Pacific Rim. Perhaps saving our planet from global extinction might be reason enough for the naysayers to re-think their position on NASA funding (which by the way is much less than most people think). Sadly though, scientific literacy has been on the decline. Tyson points out that a recent survey found that one in five adults in the U.S. believes that the Sun revolves around the earth and that only 20 to 25% of the population can be considered scientifically literate. This might explain why some politicians feel comfortable disavowing the theory of evolution or ignoring the scientific data about climate change. By contrast, it¿s invigorating to read a book that reminds us of the successes (and failures) of the space program and underscores the way in which the accomplishments of NASA in the 1960s and 1970s inspired a generation to aspire to study science and aim for the stars. In the epilogue, Tyson lays out his ¿cosmic perspective¿ ¿ and it is truly breathtaking to read. Don¿t miss it!!!

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Watch the free Daily Show Interview instead

    Tyson repeats the same arguments over and over in different ways. While there are some interesting anecdotes, the bulk of the book is in the 10 minute interview.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2012

    I enjoy science for the average person, and was looking forward

    I enjoy science for the average person, and was looking forward to reading Mr. Tyson's latest. I was disappointed in his choice to run the same arguments over and over for NASA funding, which I believe in, and his theme that w/o NASA science will die in this country. This completely ignores all the other science going on, not that I expected him to cover them in this book. I just expected more from Mr. Tyson.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2012

    A stimulating and entertaining read for the lay person. Neil giv

    A stimulating and entertaining read for the lay person. Neil gives us a cosmic perspective on our existence and persuasively argues for the importance of dreaming big, something we did during the Apollo days. He talks about NASA budgets, and peoples misconceptions about how much money is being spent on space exploration. This book is quite easy to read if you're not academic, and Neils passion and exuberance comes out well in his essays, I was captivated the whole time. Its true that some of his arguments get repeated as someone mentioned, but this overlap is to be expected as this book is just a collection of Neil's essays.

    Overall I highly recommend this book for people who have an enthusiasm for space exploration, but more than that, a passion for dreaming big and excelling forward.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    The same article...over and over again

    I will buy anything Neil Tyson writes as he does a brilliant job conveying science to a layman. I was disappointed in this book however due to the constant repetition of his single argument (albeit valid).

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Daily Show With Jon Stewart

    Just watched the daily show and just bought it

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Sponser

    Watching the Daily Show and hearing about the book. VERY excited to buy and read.

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    Very informative, easy-to-read, and extremely interesting

    Very informative, easy-to-read, and extremely interesting

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    A hit!

    Bought this for my son, a Neil deGrasse Tyson fan, as a gift. He was thrilled.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Recommend.

    Actually, while I did enjoy it, it was the typical NdeGT stuff, that I've heard much of before, tho of course still interesting. Fun to read, as one could almost hear him talking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Great book

    Good read, informative, intelligent, and fun. Format works on Nook

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    Neil deGrasse Tyson skillfully and plainly brings the world of high science to an everyday level. He makes an easy and fun read. A most for anyone interested in space or NASA.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Could be better

    Half of the book is about how little money US spends in NASA/Science programs. As non-US citizen found that over repetition annoying.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    To goldpebble come to result two.

    The book that we camp at is result two.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    I am Goldenpebble

    May i join as a queen?

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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