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The Electric Life of Michael Faraday

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The Electric Life of Michael Faraday dramatizes Michael Faraday's passion for understanding the dynamics of nature. He manned the barricades against superstition and pseudoscience, and pressed for a scientifically literate populace years before science had been deemed worthy of common study. A friend of Charles Dickens and an inspiration to Thomas Edison, the deeply religi ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Walker & Company (first published January 1st 2006)
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Andrew Ribeiro
This was a wonderful biography about a wonderful man, Michael Faraday. Michael Faraday was an experimental genius and paragon to those who seek to understand nature. The most intriguing facet of Faraday's ethos was his acceptance and appreciation of human inadequacy; he therefore made self-improvement a constant element of his life. We can all strive to have this understanding.

Another element of Faraday's being that I found extraordinary was his inability to do or understand high level mathemat
...more
Sherwood
The man is a fascinating case study for the intellectual eros. I found this book quite inspiring.
Brian Carpenter
The picture that Hirshfeld paints of Michael Faraday is an amazing portrait of a self-taught man whose love for nature and discovery drove him to become one of the greatest scientists of his time. Faraday's approach to science is one of intense and methodical experimentation, (un)hindered by the intense mathematical framework that characterized much of the frontiers of the fields he studied. In this way, he lays a path that anyone with the same desire and passion that he had can follow. This bio ...more
Jennifer Nelson
This was a decent overview of Michael Faraday's life. Faraday made many pivotal discoveries in the field of electromagnetism (he basically started it all!). He was a strong Christian, a humble and graceful man, and someone who accomplished much in the science world. Our world of technology has much to thank Faraday for.

The writing was pretty good and this book kept my interest all the way through, but it wasn't fantastic. Or maybe it was just that I got lost (and bored) sometimes in the parts ab
...more
Jason
If you read just one biography of Michael Faraday make it this one.

Actually I haven't read any others and probably won't. But this was one well worth it. As Dickensian as the Wire, but more David Copperfield than Little Dorrit. Faraday picked up science by browsing books in the store that he worked in. And then worked his way up from essentially an errand boy to one of the world's premier experimentalist in electricity and magnetism.

Hirshfeld does a nice job mixing the life of Faraday with his s
...more
Maria
Sweet biography of a humble, self-taught, brilliant man. I especially enjoyed learning that Faraday spoke out against psuedoscience during the 19th century craze for table knocking and seances, using it as a way to advocate for elementary and middle school science education during a time when science was only taught at the college level.
Ellen
Some parts of this book are a bit dry and pedantic. Although Faraday was a contributor to our knowledge of electric fields, his life was hardly "electric". He was an oddball who liked being in the lab more than being with people. The facts about his life and work were interesting.
Scott
This was an interesting read. I enjoyed the story portions of the book, but lost interest in the math and science portions.
Converse
A pleasant biography of the nineteenth century British physicist & chemist,
Lindsay
A solid, well-written biography, but nothing riveting.
Frederick Bingham
A biography of Michael Faraday from birth to death.
Michael
Disappointingly elementary and quick. Forgettable.
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“If there was one overriding element to Faraday's character, it was humility. His 'conviction of deficiency,' as he called it, stemmed in part from his deep religiosity and affected practically every facet of his life. Thus Faraday approached both his science and his everyday conduct unhampered by ego, envy, or negative emotion. In his work, he assumed the inevitability of error and failure; whenever possible, he harnessed these as guides toward further investigation. Faraday adhered to no particular school of scientific thought. Nor did he flinch when a favored hypothesis fell to the rigors of experiment.” 5 likes
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