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Galileo: A Life
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Galileo: A Life

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  74 ratings  ·  20 reviews
An engaging and well-written biography that provides an in-depth look at one of history's greatest scientists.
Paperback, 332 pages
Published January 20th 2000 by Beard Books (first published 1994)
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Actually this was an audiobook...and by the way, I hated the reader. He read with as much inflection as JLo in Maid in Manhattan...and pronouced "Washington" -- "War-shington" -- a personal peeve. I don't see a FREAKIN' R in there...

Other than that...this was really a good read. I learned an awful lot. Like did you know...the earth revolves AROUND the sun. I always thought we were riding on a back of a turtle.

Galileo was no saint...he was arrogant and persnickity...and petulant. He never forgot
Chris Marchan
I had always wanted to know about the relationship between Galileo and the Church. This book is very descriptive. I was surprised that Galileo seemed to be genuinely religious despite the persecution. Also surprising was that he personally knew the pope who eventually excommunicated him. If ever there was a doubt left in me, I finished the book ever so happy to have left the Catholic Church. The other book that made me feel this certainty is "Jesus and the Lost Goddess" (see my list).
Very boring. I couldn't finish the book. It was so detailed in his social doings and very little on his scientific activities.
Pete daPixie
I'm not sure if I've handed out 5 stars to this book because I think James Reston's biography of Galileo Galilei is such a great read. Or is it because of my admiration for the life and achievements of this Renaissance giant. Another possibility is my abhorrence of theologians of any organised religious clique, and these arrogant, hypocritical low lifes of the holy periproct, who feature so strongly in this book.
In fact, Reston's work is not so much a biography, but more a gradual lead up to the
What incredible influence the Catholic church's players had in development of knowledge! Mathematics was considered a philosophy, explanation of the rules of nature were based on the New Testament and much printing was done underground.

The testing of scientific principles relied upon constant flattery of the men in power. I was surprised by Galileo's deep religious faith and yet that was of no import when he wrote his discourse on the organization of our universe. He was able to reconcile the c
Edward Podritske
While Reston wanders down the path of identifying character traits in Galileo, such as "arrogance," which may allegedly have contributed to his ill treatment by the Catholic Church, there is no escape from the facts of reality. The Copernican theory is valid, Galileo could prove it, but could only save his life by recanting before the Inquisitors and living as an abused prisoner for the rest of his days.

The authoritarian banality of this festering mark on the Catholic institution took 4 centurie
This is based upon the audio download from []

Narrated by: Jeff Riggenbach

I love history...I love astronomy...I know Galileo, Galileo was a friend of mine...okay, that's someone else's quote but the point is I should have LOVED this book. I wanted to LOVE this book. It was just too dry and BORING. I feel bad giving only one star to one of my heroes but he's dead and won't know.
Roberto Machorro
This book transported me to the world during the time of Galileo. The historical novel format kept it moving and fun while being being very educational. It opened my eyes to one of the most interesting people of our history, the politics and protocol of the time. It should be required reading for high schools.
well done. what i enjoyed most were the way in which the details of galileo's life were presented: going forward as though we were living the unknown from galileo's perspective (rather than reflecting back with biases in place)
3.5. A decent account of Galileo's life and struggle with the catholic church. As mentioned by others, the focus is not on Galileo's science but primarly on Galileo's interactions with the church and other scientest.
Lively and fast-moving, albeit riddled by glaring inaccuracies. One small but telling error: the misinterpretation of Galileo's attitude toward Tasso's poetry, and the misquotation in support of it (p. 42).
Fascinating biography of a genius... and interesting to read about the power and politics of the Vatican in suppressing Galileo's scientific discoveries!
Joseph Scipione
This should have been more interesting. I really wanted to like this. Maybe there is another book on Galileo out there with some life to it.
Reston covers a lot of diverse themes during his apologetic description of Galileo's papal conflict with his selling of science.

The audio narrator is so unbelievably boring that I just couldn't make it through.
Jun 26, 2008 Brett is currently reading it
Half way done with this and I left it on a plane! But I really liked the half I did read.
So much I never knew about Galileo and the Church - very interesting reading.
Lukasz Glinka
Detailed biography of Galileo Galilei.
Summer Redmon
Great story of Galileo's life!
He wuz robbed.
Steven Harbin
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Dec 31, 2014
James Phillips, Jr.
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James Reston Jr. (born 1941, New York City) is an American author and journalist. His father was the American journalist James Reston.

Reston was raised in Washington, D.C. He earned his BA in philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) while on a Morehead Scholarship. At UNC, he was an All-South soccer player, and retains the single game scoring record for the university (5
More about James Reston Jr....
Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors Defenders of the Faith: Charles V, Suleyman the Magnificent, and the Battle for Europe, 1520-1536 The Last Apocalypse: Europe at the Year 1000 A.D. The Conviction of Richard Nixon: The Untold Story of the Frost/Nixon Interviews

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