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As presented in this pivotal history, the prime movers of the 17th century scientific revolution were men of their time, yet against it. Newton, Leibniz, Galileo, and Kepler all lived in a Europe wracked by war, plagues, savage religious conflict, and economic upheaval; yet each constructed cosmological theories in which the universe ran with clockwork perfection. As Edward Dolnick (The Forger's Spell; The Rescue Artist) notes, these seminal deist thinkers believed that God had created flawless mechanisms that they were laboring hard to understand. Dolnick's The Clockwork Universe places these eccentric, tormented geniuses within the contexts of their radically tumultuous age. Editor's recommendation.