A SMITHSONIAN BOOK The first installment of a spectacular new series by Joy Hakim, author of the bestselling A History of US, who has been called the J.K. Rowling of nonfiction.
Aristotle Leads the Way focusses on the evolution of astronomy, math, and physics and begins with the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians, who invented a calendar and tools for building and measuring, and the ancient Greeks, whose quest for knowledge drove them not only to describe the natural world but to ask why things are as they are. Hakim explores the lives and ideas of such famous people as Pythagoras, who kept his numbers secret from all but the initiated, Archimedes, who kept the Romans at bay with his war machines, and then, while taking a bath solved a major scientific problem involving pressure and volume. She writes about the remarkable city of Alexandria and its steam-powered vehicles; the Hindu and Arab mathematicians who gave us the idea of zero and our number system; Ptolemy, who mapped and classified world knowledge; and St. Augustine and St. thomas Aquinas, who tried to reconcile their faith with reason. But it is Aristotle who dominates science in this book and before the modern era. His philosophy emphasized observation over cogitation and eventually led to experimentation. Aristotle asked questions and then examined existing objects. Hakim explores his encyclopaedic interest in everything he could find in nature and his monumental achievement in constructing a grand theory that attempted to explain and classify everything known.
"As a good--even great--teacher, Hakim knows exactly where students might stumble and is always there, making sure they don't."--Diana Lutz, Natural History
"Hakim has interwoven creation myths, history, physics, and mathematics to present a seamless, multifaceted view of the foundation of modern science. . . . At its essence, the book displays the most appealing aspect of science and mathematics: that advances result from a practical need solved by curious minds."--School Library Journal, starred review
"[W]hen master storyteller Joy Hakim wields her pen, take heart: you're in for a breathtaking adventure."--American Educator
"If Leonardo da Vinci had studied school science, he would have been fascinated with The Story of Science."--Juliana Texley, lead reviewer for National Science Teacher Association Recommends