Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us

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Author: Kean, Sam

Brand: Little, Brown and Company

Edition: 1st

Number Of Pages: 384

Release Date: 18-07-2017

Details: Product Description The Guardian's Best Science Book of 2017: the fascinating science and history of the air we breathe. It's invisible. It's ever-present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell. In Caesar's Last Breath, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it. With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world. On the ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds on the Senate floor, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding; in fact, you're probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might well bear traces of Cleopatra's perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe's creation. Tracing the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere, Kean reveals how the alchemy of air reshaped our continents, steered human progress, powered revolutions, and continues to influence everything we do. Along the way, we'll swim with radioactive pigs, witness the most important chemical reactions humans have discovered, and join the crowd at the Moulin Rouge for some of the crudest performance art of all time. Lively, witty, and filled with the astounding science of ordinary life, Caesar's Last Breath illuminates the science stories swirling around us every second. Review Praise for Caesar's Last Breath "Sam Kean has done it again - this time clearly and entertainingly explaining the science of the air around us. He is a gifted storyteller with a knack for finding the magic hidden in the everyday."― Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive "The most fun to be had from nonfiction is a good science book, with a writer of craft who can capture both the excitement and the elegance of science, the incredible fact that this is really how it works. Sam Kean is such a writer and Caesar's Last Breath is such a book. An enormous pleasure to read."― Mark Kurlansky, author of Paper and Salt "Fascinating stories, so insightful, informative, and disarmingly written. It gave this astronaut a new respect for the air around us all, and made me delightfully more aware of each breath I take." ― Col. Chris Hadfield, author of An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth "A witty book that turns the science of the stuff we breathe into a delightful romp through history. Kean, an award-winning science writer... has done it again, using his free-wheeling style to translate hard scientific facts into lively stories." ― Kirkus "Riveting.... Kean has a knack for distilling chemistry to its essential elements, using stories and humor.... this is a dose of fresh air. ― Library Journal "Kean pumps chemical and historical trivia into this tale about air and the gases of which it is composed....Entertaining." ― Publishers Weekly "Richly informative.... Once again, Kean proves his mettle as one of science literature's most gifted practitioners." ― Booklist "Kean's ability to explain with clear, vivid analogies provides diverse readers access to previously remote scientific concepts.... Informative and well organized. He inarguably succeeds with his goal of 'mak[ing] these invisible stories of gases visible.'" ― Andrea Jenney, Science Magazine "In Caesar's Last Breath, [Kean] takes on the science of gases in his trademark effervescent, loopy style.... a lively, rewarding journey through the evolution of Earth's gaseous atmosphere."― Shelf Awareness "[ Caesar's Last Breath] brims with such fascinating tales of chemical history that it'll change the very way you think about breathing.... Kean crams the book full of wild yarns told with humorously dramatic flair.... The effect is oddly intimate, the way all good storytelling is -- you feel like

EAN: 9780316381642

Languages: English

Binding: Hardcover

Item Condition: New