The Clockwork Universe - Review
Few historical figures have shaped the world we live in like Isaac Newton. His name is synonymous with scientific discovery, genius, and modernity. Edward Donlick provides us with a snapshot of the life and times of Newton in his book, The Clockwork Universe. Early chapters lay the foundation for Newton and his contemporaries step into the spotlight of scientific discovery. Donlick goes to lengths to describe the world in which these men lived. Social, political, and religious influences exerted great force on these learned individuals. We see attitudes toward science mature and take great leaps toward the institution we know today. Donlick's book walks the line between history and biography. An early emphasis of the book is to establish the context for Newton's discoveries. Explaining the science behind such worked proved to be both challenging and heady. Donlick does well to explore and explain many insights that we take for granted today. The final parts of the book are committed to Newton and his contemporaries. The narrative is here redeemed and the focus of the book restored.
Better understand Newton and his insight.
I would recommend reading this book. It is both insightful and and compelling. The narrative of the text does, however, feel disjointed. I often felt that two different books were thrown into one as I attempted to wrap my brain around the big ideas being communicated chapter by chapter. The section headings only slightly help the reader follow one aligned and complimentary plot. Regardless of this disjointedness I thoroughly enjoyed the book and feel that I better understand Newton and the science that he helped shape.