Cosmos
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Cosmos : The Story of Cosmic Evolution, Science and Civilisation

By (author) Carl Sagan

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* Spacecraft missions to nearby planets * The Library of ancient Alexandria * The human brain * Egyptian hieroglyphics * The origin of life * The death of the sun * The evolution of galaxies * The origins of matter, suns and worlds The story of fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution transforming matter and life into consciousness, of how science and civilisation grew up together, and of the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science. A story told with Carl Sagan's remarkable ability to make scientific ideas both comprehensible and exciting.

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  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 126 x 198 x 28mm | 322.05g
  • 11 Aug 1983
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Abacus
  • London
  • English
  • 0349107033
  • 9780349107035
  • 7,321

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Author Information

Sagan was Dir. of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies & David Duncan Prof. of Astronomy & Space Sciences at Cornell University.He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking & Voyage expeditions to the planets & was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for literature. He died in 1996.

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Review quote

** 'Enticing, imaginative, readable, iridescent The New York TIMES

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Review text

Thirteen profusely illustrated chapters to match 13 television programs this fall featuring prolific, peripatetic Carl Sagan as author/host. The cosmos is, as he says, everything there is, or was, or will be. For Sagan it is romance, drama, adventure, discovery - and a peg to allow him to write about favorite themes: the origins of life here, and possibly There, evolution, intelligence, cosmology, communication. Some of the chapters focus on familiar planetscapes; hostile Venus, maybe-microbial Mars. Others set the grand scene - the 15-billion-year-old universe, the takeoff of life forms on Earth with the first multicellular creatures. In many ways this is vintage Sagan, asking questions with schoolboy curiosity, conveying facts with irrepressible zest, sprinkling literary quotes and illusions along the way, and stirring all with bits of gossip, anecdotes, and tales of visionaries and fools. Velikovsky comes in for his usual raps. We hear about Kepler's sad marriage and Newton's lifelong virginity. In the end we are smitten with Sagan's zeal to find out who is out there; to set up the radio telescopes and listen; to hope that our feeble communications are overheard, and that some day we get there or that supergalactic explorers arrive. Sagan at his best. (Kirkus Reviews)

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