Adult/High School-This gorgeous title includes the finest in scientific writing, illustrating (more than 150 pictures), and publishing, spanning the earliest copied books to images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Put together by curators from the Smithsonian's Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology and from the Huntington Library, the book is divided into sections on representing the heavens, technologies of observation, and encounters with the planets and outer-space phenomena. Many of the visuals are reproduced as full-page images, making it easier to appreciate the complexity and craftsmanship of early bookmaking, hand illustration, and printing, and also making the original languages of the volumes evident. Although the text is an in-depth overview of astronomy, the out-of-this-world pictures make this book a great introduction to the discipline with particular appeal to nonscientists or science-wary readers.-Sheryl Fowler, Chantilly Regional Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
These 150-plus illustrations would be perfectly fascinating on their own, but the accompanying text is also excellent. Authors Brashear, rare books curator at the Smithsonian's Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, and Lewis, curator of American historical manuscripts at the Huntington Library, are joined by Owen Gingerich, senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University. Together they document the evolution of humanity's understanding of the cosmos, drawing on some of the most rare and beautiful books in the history of astronomy. Sources of the illustrations include the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Huntington Library, and the Hubble Space Telescope. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)