The Life of Isaac Newton

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Overview

One of the greatest scientists in history, Isaac Newton's achievements in mathematics and physics marked the culmination of the movement that brought modern science into being. Richard Westfall's biography captures in engaging detail both his private life and scientific career, presenting a complex picture of Newton the man, and as scientist, philosopher, theologian, alchemist and public figure. An abridged version of his Never at Rest, this concise biography makes Westfall's highly acclaimed portrait of Newton accessible to general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Beyond this survey of Newton's life and significance we also are treated to a summary of contemporary scholarship on many aspects of Newton's multifaceted career. And it is a delight to read!" The Reader's Review

"An altogether admirable job of scholarship, whose weightiness is balanced by the surfacing...of Westfall's dry humor." Kirkus Reviews

"The Life of Issac Newton...is a servicable volume...widely read by a public curious about Newton's life." Michael Hunter, Times Literary Supplement

"...a lively and lucid expositor of Newton's ideas and he has written an excellent book for those who want an authoritative introduction to Newton but do not have the time or the inclination to wrestle with the finer points of his mathematics." William R. Shea, Nature

"Westfall's account of his subject's personal life is gratifyingly elegant and precise....In bringing the truth of Newton's life to a wider audience, Westfall has certainly succeeded." Peg Padnos, Wilson Library Bulletin

"...Westfall is a master, and apart from the original, no better or more comprehensive introduction to Newton's life and work is to be had." J. McClellan III, Steven's Institute of Technology

"...the very smoothness of his prose commends this abbreviated version to physicists as well as to lay persons....I commend to you the great wealth of information contained in Westfall's work." American Journal of Physics

"Richard Westfall has admirably succeeded in demolishing the plaster saint and revealing, probably as much as one can ever hope to do, Newton the man. The portrait he paints shows someone who could be brutal and spiteful,...someone who was secretive to the point of paranoia; and had few if any friends in his life....This story is recounted in fluent and gripping prose by the author who deserves the Leo Gershoy Award, an American Historical award for his efforts." J. Langins, Applied Mechanics Review

"...author Westfall has effectively reduced his longer 1980 biography of Newton to a size that is more suitable for general audiences....strongly recommended." Doug Carmichael, Science Books & Films

"Westfall made it his business in writing Never at Rest to examine all the Newton manuscripts currently available for scholarly study...He speaks with authority about them all, offering his own interpretation of the importance of the theological papers (one that greatly advances our understanding of them) and also of the place of alchemy in Newton's work. He manages to make both Newton's alchemy and his religious interests seem integral to the story of Newton's life while keeping the scientific work in focus, an approach that offers the reader both breadth and the modern perspective on Newton's importance." B.J.T. Dobbs, ISIS of alch

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521477376
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2010
  • Series: Canto Book Series
  • Edition description: ABR
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 691,018
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; A note about dates; 1. A sober, silent, thinking lad; 2. The solitary scholar; 3. Anni Mirabilis; 4. Lucasian professor; 5. Publication and crisis; 6. Rebellion; 7. Years of silence; 8. Principia; 9. Revolution; 10. The Mint; 11. President of the Royal Society; 12. The priority dispute; 13. Years of decline; Biographical essay; Index.

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