Science in Early Islamic Culture (Science of the Past)

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9780531159170: Science in Early Islamic Culture (Science of the Past)
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Discusses scientific discoveries and advancements in the Islamic world after the birth of Mohammed in 570

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-8-Two intriguing overviews of science history. Ancient China covers such key discoveries as gunpowder, anesthesia, and calendars, spanning a few thousand years. Early Islamic Cultures begins with the 600s and describes early surgical advances and medical treatises and the development of Arabic numerals, among other areas. Without going into too much depth, both books offer historical and cultural background that play parts in the scientific environment. The writing is crisp and lively, and some individual scientists are highlighted. However, on a few occasions the actual processes used by scientists are explained in detail, which detracts from the smooth historical narrative. Most readers will be able to appreciate the basic idea of how Chinese surveyors calculated the width of a river without a step-by-step explanation of the mathematical formulas. Closing chapters tie the discoveries of the past into the Western science revitalization that began with the Renaissance. For the most part, the books convey a true appreciation for the discoveries and for the cultures from which they sprang. Numerous full-color and black-and-white photographs, reproductions, and drawings illuminate the text. Though the titles, publisher, and author are the same, these are not strictly revisions of Watts's 1988 titles. They are shorter and written for younger readers. The earlier versions go into more detail and cover many developments not mentioned in the current editions, including China's agricultural innovations and the work of Islamic scholar Al-Biruni. The newer titles are less useful for in-depth reference but work better as basic introductions.
Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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