Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium

Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium

by Carl Sagan
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Overview

Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium by Carl Sagan

In the final book of his astonishing career, Carl Sagan brilliantly examines the burning questions of our lives, our world, and the universe around us. These luminous, entertaining essays travel both the vastness of the cosmos and the intimacy of the human mind, posing such fascinating questions as how did the universe originate and how will it end, and how can we meld science and compassion to meet the challenges of the coming century? Here, too, is a rare, private glimpse of Sagan's thoughts about love, death, and God as he struggled with fatal disease. Ever forward-looking and vibrant with the sparkle of his unquenchable curiosity, Billions & Billions is a testament to one of the great scientific minds of our day.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307801029
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/06/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 211,915
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Carl Sagan served as the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo spacecraft expeditions, for which he received the NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and (twice) for Distinguished Public Service.
 
His Emmy- and Peabody–winning television series, Cosmos, became the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. The accompanying book, also called Cosmos, is one of the bestselling science books ever published in the English language. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize, the Oersted Medal, and many other awards—including twenty honorary degrees from American colleges and universities—for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment. In their posthumous award to Dr. Sagan of their highest honor, the National Science Foundation declared that his “research transformed planetary science . . . his gifts to mankind were infinite." Dr. Sagan died on December 20, 1996.

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Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best things that Carl did was to include his final thoughts on space exploration. I learned by means of his elaborating around a quote that we really are one planet after all. It's the Saudi astronaut who said that they were looking out of the window of the rocket and pointing to their country; they got a little further and were pointing at their peninsula; a little further and all that they could do was to point at their planet. Carl Sagan (peace be upon this Prophet) is so correct in saying that we scientists are modern-day prophets because we have a sensible message for the world to heed - that if we don't do something to secure a better momentum which this earth is taking, anhilation will occur and then our 'God(s)' will come down and destroy us for sure; yet in the end, the causatives will have been us all along. I read the book in Spanish, which was quite fitting because this message is not for United Satesians alone!!! This was truly one of the greatest souls of all time! Sagan was not a dry, directionless atheist like many of us have met - he was also in fact more spritual than most self-appointed spiritual teachers of which I've heard or seen. But the amazing thing was to learn that Sagan had lots of different religious figures praying for him around the world although he didn't follow any of their religions. So by writing this commentary, I'm not the first to observe the greatness of Sagan. We should teach our children the same things that he was elucidated for our benefit!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Billions and Billions' was, for me, a wonderful mix of science, religion, sociology and everyday personality that characterized Dr. Carl Sagan. His wife's epilogue was so moving that I cried. There will never be another scientist like Carl Sagan and those of us who listened to him have an obligation to carry the burden of responsibility to save the Earth from environmental catastrophe and keep on looking outward into Space--THAT'S where our future is.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I found the book to be somewhat interesting and beautiful. As a Carl Sagan fan, I found his book to be just as smart, well-written and insightful as his other novels. But what makes it possibly his best novel is hearing about what happened that led to his death, how he felt about it, and his whole general thoughts on death. It's kinda sad to read the last words that he will ever write in this book. Not only is the book smart and insightful, but it was also heartbreaking, thought-provoking and beautiful. Rest in peace, Carl Sagan.
ChinaTownBoi More than 1 year ago
Billions and Billions is a brilliant collection of essays about the world and life, and is one of the most intriguing and eye-opening books I've ever read.  This book is a slow read and is filled with giant numbers and confusing statistics, but is so captivating that it doesn't feel like a chore at all.  After making many revolutionary scientific advancements over the course of his life, Sagan lies close to death and reflects on the world.  He speaks on a broad range of topics, stretching from ancient history to monday night football, with loads to say about each one.  His writing is astounding, as Sagan takes something that may seem simple on the outside, and completely analyzes it, opening the reader to ideas that they never knew existed.  Not only does Sagan reflect on our past, but he also predicts the earth's future, and gives us advice that could potentially save the world.  Specifically, he talks about global warming and life in the future, using hard scientific facts to prove his claims.  He also sways more to the ethical side of arguments, such as when talking about abortion, he asks many deep questions that leave the reader with something to ponder.  Critical yet insightful, Sagan's thoughts on humans and the world are captivating and ingenious, and make this book a must-read
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Guest More than 1 year ago
When I finished reading this I realized that in order for the world to improve we need people like him around. EVERYONE should read this, beacause he is like that great teacher so few of us had-the one who made us think, not just learn facts. He will be remembered for a long time :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some of the greatest insight celebrating science and probing into mankinds fraility and fallible nature. Carl has once again delved into the nether regions of the mind to bring about the spectacular collection of essays. A must read for anyone who cares to know .. what it means to live in the 21st century.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is unlike most any other book that I've read by Carl Sagan. The format is more like that of a collection of thoughts on topics ranging from quantification (exponentially increasing or decreasing statistics and their impact on our society) to the necessary alliances of science and religion if we are to survive the coming millennium. Extremely thought provoking and almost a call to action to make a change in the way profit controls decision-making to the brink of endangering the human species. Certainly the best collection of non-fiction literature from a single author that I have ever read, and a must read for any intelligent person seeking to broaden their perspectives of global warming, birth control, and living as neighbors of one world and not the citizens of isolated countries.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book by Carl Sagan ive read, in this book he touches up on many subjects, Im glad I read it, it envokes alot of individual thought by the reader which is always good, The Epilogue written with Ann Druyan, his wife, is also a touching chapter talking about the death of Carl Sagan
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is full of great facts. Carl sagan is one of the greatest minds ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She knocks on the door.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hodd tge kitten and pet her