Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History

Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History


By (author) Penny Le Couteur, By (author) Jay Burreson

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  • Publisher: Jeremy P Tarcher
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 229mm x 30mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 9 September 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Los Angeles
  • ISBN 10: 1585423319
  • ISBN 13: 9781585423316
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: b&w line drawings
  • Sales rank: 26,422

Product description

"Napoleon's Buttons" is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts. With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Le Couteur and Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world.

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Author information

Jay Burreson, Ph.D., has worked as an industrial chemist and held a National Institutes of Health special fellowship for research on chemical compounds in marine life. He is also the general manager of a high-tech company.

Review quote

"Well-conceived, well-done popular science." --Booklist