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Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began
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Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Nicolaus Copernicus gave the world perhaps the most important scientific insight of the modern age, the theory that the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun. He was also the first to proclaim that the earth rotates on its axis once every twenty-four hours. His theory was truly radical: during his lifetime nearly everyone believed that a perfectly still earth ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published December 4th 2007 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2007)
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I was hoping for an easy-to-read biography of Copernicus. This book is certainly easy-to-read, and I found much of the book interesting, partly because of the description of what was going on in the scientific community during the 15th century.

What I wanted to read more of, however, was how Copernicus worked on and developed his theories that eventually changed the course of scientific, and human, history. It may just be that, because Copernicus worked alone, there is very little information on
Eric Timar
A good and not-too-long biography. I would not have minded had it gone into the details/mechanics of his actual astronomic research and discoveries more than it does, but it's a good portrait of the time. Also Repcheck could have spent more time showing how the theory went from ignored by the Church to condemned by the Church (posthumous to Copernicus, it turns out, which is basically why Repcheck does not cover it in depth).
I enjoy reading the stories behind path-breaking historical discoveries and the men who made them. This book focuses on the story of Nicolas Copernicus, who was the first one to break away from over two centuries of established geocentric view of the universe in the 15th century and propose that the earth was NOT the center of the universe as held by Aristotle/Ptolemaic models and as endorsed by the Church. He proposed and proved through rigorous observations and mathematical proof that earth an ...more
Kathryn Bashaar
This was the story of how Copernicus was the first to posit a heliocentric view of the universe,and why it took decades for him to publish his work. The book was mostly written in a lively, novelistic style that held a lay reader's interest, but occasionally it lapsed into too much (boring, to me) detail about church and civil politics at the time. To his credit, Copernicus was first reluctant to publish his work because he felt he hadn't gotten everything exactly right. Also, he was afraid of b ...more
This brief book on Copernicus sketches who he was, what he did and how he did it. It is happily non-technical such that all levels of laymen can understand what he achieved.

Living the respectable life of a nobleman and clergyman, he was not persecuted for his work although the later generation that persecuted Galileo thought he was. He worried about the impact of his work, and perhaps this is why his ideas lay dormant until his old age. The eventual publication of his work relied heavily on a yo
I picked this one up at the planetarium gift shop mostly because of the title, I think. I knew about Copernicus, and that he was the discoverer of the sun-centered solar system. But when I got into the book, I realized that there was so much I didn't know about him.

Copernicus was born in modern-day Poland. After his father's death, his uncle, a bishop, took care of him and his brother and paid for their university education. It was there that Copernicus began to study astronomy for the first tim
Very easy to read and gives a good general history of Copernicus and the scientific world his theory was written and published in.
I'm not telling! OK, here's a hint: It has something to to with planets.
Darren Nelson
Interesting exposition of the world and cultural milieu of Copernicus and the Poland of his day. An intriguing biographical mystery is why Copernicus never bothered to take orders as a priest rather than just a church canon, despite pressure to do so? One really revealing new fact for moderns: the "astronomers" of the day were also astrologers, and in fact this was considered the more practical part of their knowledge and ironically a motivation for their support from patrons and church authorit ...more
I lived in Poland very near Frombork, where Copernicus was a Canon in the church, and did the bulk of his work and study of astronomy. So, my interest in the subject is not so much on the astronomy side, but the history and location.

The book was an easy read, with the technicalities of the science and math taking a backseat to the politics of astronomy/astrology (they were combined at the time), the history of book printing/publishing, and general life of scholars and scientists.
This is, of course, a fascinating subject, but the narrative doesn't have enough linear flow. The author jumps around in time, weaving in side stories of Copernicus' predecessors and contemporaries, but not cohesively. I spent too much time asking questions like "Wait, who's the bishop of Warmia?" Not enough attention is paid to the actual science, and the enormity and marvel of Copernicus' ideas are not well supported by the mood of the book.
Easy to read if you want a straight forward bio of Copernicus. Some of his assumptions and conclusions are a little overdrawn and simplistic since Copernicus was living in such a complicated time but all in all, I really enjoyed it.
It's an interesting take on the personal life of Copernicus who first put out the idea that the Earth is not the center of the universe.
Quiet, unboastful men have a hard time influencing others and the world no matter how great, important, and revolutionizing their ideas may be. They need a promoter,fortunetly one found him.
More about the man than the theory, but educational and interesting. Especially the summary of important astronomers and their contributions at the end. I keep forgetting...
An insight into the other players involved in the research and publication of "the sun is the center of the universe" theory. Overall a dry read, but some interesting passages.
Eric Michael
The unknown Copernicus. From his forbidden science to his mistress while he was an esteemed Catholic cleric. This book is a fascinating study of a complex individual.
Daniel Kukwa
Solid work...but it seems TOO short and TOO threadbare at times...almost as if it were "trying" to present the Copernican revolution as a great anti-climax.
May 05, 2008 Zed added it
Shelves: nonfiction
An engaging, relatively lite read. I like the book best for its recommendations of other books on the (history) of astronomy.
Although this book was interesting it lacks any significant content.
Anna Lynn
<3 uncle jack!
People who have paradigm shifts in thinking are always fascinating. A vivid portrayal of the life and passion of this cheeky genius.
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