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Connections - James Burke


By: James Burke

eBook | 13 February 2024

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New York Times Bestseller: A "lively" examination of the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that led to eight major technological achievements (Library Journal).

How did the popularity of underwear in the twelfth century lead to the invention of the printing press? How did the waterwheel evolve into the computer? How did the arrival of the cannon lead eventually to the development of movies? In this dazzlingly insightful book, James Burke untangles the pattern of interconnecting events: the accidents of time, circumstance, and place that gave rise to the major inventions of the world.

In particular, he looks at eight innovations—the computer, the production line, telecommunications, the airplane, the atomic bomb, plastics, the guided rocket, and television—which may be most influential in structuring our own futures. Each one of these is part of a family of similar devices, and is the result of a sequence of closely connected events extending from the ancient world until the present day. Each has enormous potential for humankind's benefit—or destruction. Based on a popular documentary series, Connections is a fascinating scientific detective story of the inventions that changed history—and the surprising links that connect them.

"Splendid . . . marvelously illustrated and written with a lively wit." —Los Angeles Times

"[A] tour de force . . . the book delights with its scholarship, anecdote, minutiae—and the excellent diagrams and photos." —Kirkus Reviews

"James Burke surely has one of the most intriguing minds in the western world." —The Washington Post

Industry Reviews
"James Burke surely has one of the most intriguing minds in the western world."

-- The Washington Post

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