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Buchanan (Ubiquity: The Science of History) reaches out to the audience for pop social science like The Tipping Pointand Freakonomicswith the concept of "social physics," a scientific model for the patterns that emerge from the interactions among large groups of people. Though his observations that people excel at imitating the successful behavior of others and will often form collective bonds over such fundamental pretenses as shared ethnic heritage aren't startling, Buchanan leans on his background in theoretical physics and treats these ideas as "a quantum revolution in the social sciences." His presentation is muted by a tendency to talk around the subject, recapping prior discussions and promising future developments instead of establishing a clear, compelling thread. Though the real-life scenarios he uses to illustrate his theories—such as the unexpected revival of Times Square or the outbreak of ethnic violence in the former Yugoslavia—are engaging, some sections draw upon computer simulations of arbitrary behavior that illustrate his thesis but don't command equal interest. This is a great idea for a magazine article, but awkward at book length. (June)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Posted November 2, 2011
This book was used in conjunction with a micro economics class, it was used to relate items of micro economics to this book. I found many interesting details and I would recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 10, 2007
I've always been intrested in Sociology and The Social Atom helped answer my questions as well as ignite more curioisly about the field of Sociology. It describes the science in-depth and at the same time keeps it simple enough so that any reader could grasp those ideas. I would definently reecommend this book.
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Posted June 15, 2007
As a recent high school graduate just beginning to explore the social sciences, I found the subject matter interesting and thought Buchanan presented it in an easy-to-understand way. If you're interested in how the laws of nature may relate to socioeconomic principles, I highly recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.