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The Invention of Air Free download Ó PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ ❰Download❯ ➾ The Invention of Air Author Steven Johnson – The Invention of Air is a story of sweeping historical transformation of genius and friendship violence and world chL debates in American history And as Johnson brilliant charts Priestley exerted profound if little known influence on the shape and course of this great experiment in nation buildingAs in his most recent bestselling work The Ghost Map Steven Johnson here uses a dramatic historical story to explore themes that have long engaged him innovation and the way new ideas emerge and spread and the environments that foster these breakthroughs As he did in Everything Bad is Good for You he upsets some fundamental assumptions about the world we live in namely what it means when we invoke the Founding Fathers and replaces them with a clear eyed elouent assessment of where we stand today. A lovely review of the life of a relatively obscure scientistphilosopher and the times when science politics and religion were much intercommunicative spheres than they are now IOW this guy invented soda water founded Unitarianism and corresponded with Franklin Adams and Jefferson Plus interesting digressions into the geohistory of coalJohnson makes a fascinating argument for an ecosystem metaphor of human history civilization throughout as well and I think it serves in moving through the different scales of change addressed in the book At what point is history influenced by individual uirks broad social movements accidents of geology etc etc and this allows for all those levels to be in operation at oncePlus the thing that I find I like about all of Johnson's work is his innate sense of optimism Something of the Enlightenment spirit seems to motivate him and perhaps a belief in the better angels of our nature I saw him at SXSWi '09 and was struck by his optimism in an area where most others are pretty damn gloomy In any case for me it makes his writing a genuine pleasure to read This book was no exception

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The Invention of Air is a story of sweeping historical transformation of genius and friendship violence and world changing ideas that boldly recasts our understanding of the most significant events in our historyIt centers on the The Invention PDFEPUBstory of Joseph Priestley scientist and minister protégé of Benjamin Franklin friend of Thomas Jefferson an eighteenth century radical thinker who played key roles in the invention of ecosystem science the discovery of oxygen the founding of the Unitarian church and the intellectual development of the United States Priestley represented a uniue synthesis by the s he had established himself as one of the world's most celebrat. Steven Johnson author of the excellent The Ghost Map here takes on the life of Joseph Priestley The best parts of this book are where he confines himself to the task at hand and gives us details of that life Priestley was a fascinating character a brilliant chemist and one of the most influential scientists of his age He was also a practicing clergyman whose nonconformist views ultimately provoked such a storm in England that he had to flee to America with his family He was friends with Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson and John Adams; as a conseuence of these friendships he was to have substantial influence on the development of political thought in the fledgling democracy Priestley wasn't brilliant all the time of course there was his notorious attachment to the phlogiston theory as well as an unhealthy obsession with the Book of Revelation in the final years of his life So the details of Priestley's life certainly provide than adeuate material for an interesting accountIndeed the book is at its most interesting when Johnson confines himself to filling in the biographical record In particular his account of the early work discovery of what would later be termed Coulomb’s Law publication of the ‘History of Electricity’ invention of soda water and the two experiments which established Priestley's reputation the work showing that plants synthesize oxygen his later ‘discovery’ of oxygen is excellent Unfortunately Johnson then seems to lose his moorings a bit Understandably he wants to put Priestley’s scientific contributions in historical perspective But this leads him to include what can only be called bloviation – ponderous pseudo profound musings about paradigm shifts regrettable metaphors about the nature of scientific progress down the ages and sentences like these In the next decade the three paths would combine to form a mighty highway one that would ultimately drive Priestley all the way to the New WorldSeeing human history as a series of intensifying energy flows is one way around the classic opposition between the Great Men and Collectivist visions of historyWhat is the internal chemistry of a mob Tellingly mob behavior inevitably gravitates toward displays of intense energy transfer the collective strength of a hundred enraged men pulling a building apart and unleashing the destructive oxidizing force of combustion Where are the editors when you need them Seriously dude ease off on the goddamned chemistry metaphors wouldja They make you seem like a moron which you’re notFor a prolonged stretch in its middle third the book ceases to be mainly about Priestley degenerating instead into a kind of “look at me I’m Steven Johnson see how clever I am” morass This is unfortunate because even the most pedestrian of Priestley’s biographical details would be interesting than Johnson’s views on the nature of scientific progress which seemed to me to be short on content long on pomposity This actually surprised me because I’ve heard him interviewed on the radio and he seemed uite sensible and unpretentiousFortunately things get back on track or less for the remaining third of the book describing the rising tide of violence that forced the Priestleys to flee to America and the scientist’s final years in PennsylvaniaDespite the misgivings expressed above I really enjoyed this book and have no hesitation in recommending it But I do hope that Steven Johnson gets himself a better editor on his next project I've put this on my terrific shelf for now despite reservations about Johnson's style because Priestley's life was genuinely fascinating

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The Invention of AirEd scientists most prominent religious figures and most outspoken political thinkers Yet he would also have become one of the most hated men in all of his native England When an angry mob burned down his house in Birmingham Priestley and his family set sail for PennsylvaniaIn the nascent United States Priestley hoped to find the freedom to bridge the disciplines that had governed his life to find a uiet lab and a receptive pulpit Once he arrived as a result of his close relationships with the Founding Fathers Jefferson credited Priestley as the man who prevented him from abandoning Christianity Priestley found himself at the center of what would go down as one of the semina. Joseph Priestly did not 'invent' air Rather he was instrumental in discovering it Let alone Joseph's influence on America as a newly born country's political scientific and faith culture Regardless I find this book very well written and a personal epiphony discovering my family is related to him Steve Johnson's writing style is easy to read entertaining and informing