Twin Tracks: The Unexpected Origins of the Modern World

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9780743226196: Twin Tracks: The Unexpected Origins of the Modern World

Considers the nature of change, the qualities of the divine, and the origins of contemporary civilization, citing how divergent paths stemming from specific historical events subsequently converged in the modern world.

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Review:

James Burke, author and public television star, returns with another quirky look at the way history works. In Twin Tracks, Burke connects "trigger events" with unexpected outcomes. For instance, the invention of the lens-grinding lathe leads to hairdressing, and the debut of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro connects to development of the stealth fighter jet. These events are tied together via two tracks, one written along the book's left-hand pages, and one along the right. The narratives meet up in the end, giving readers a clear idea that the lines of history can be quite subjective. Some of the examples even run backward, as when Burke explains the connections between smallpox and the Big Bang. While Burke is justifiably famous for linking historical events, the paths he takes, especially those involving lots of unfamiliar names, can be tricky to follow:

In 1710 the art collection was sold to Philip, regent of France, in a deal brokered by Benedetto Luti, the best painter in Rome at the time.... That year Luti took on an assistant.... By 1714 William Kent was painting originals.... His patron in all this was the trillionaire Earl of Burlington.

The best way to read Twin Tracks, as with any of Burke's lovely books, is one chapter at a time, taking thinking breaks in between so as not to become overwhelmed by detail. The networks he describes form a more accurate, if more challenging, picture of history's motion than any linear sequence. --Therese Littleton

About the Author:

James Burke's books include Circles, Connections, The Pinball Effect, The Day the Universe Changed, and The Knowledge Web. A former columnist for Scientific American, Burke is the director, writer, and host of the television series Connections 3. He lives in London, England.

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Book Description Simon and Schuster, Inc., New York, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Printing.. 278 Hardcover with dustjacket. Like New. SCIENCE. A landmark book of real-world stories that investigates the nature of change and divines as never before the unlikely origins of many aspects of contemporary life. In each of the work's twenty-five narratives, we discover how the different outcomes of an important historical event in the past often come together again in the future. Includes an Index. "One of the most intriguing minds in the Western World." -- The Washington Post (Key Words: James Burke, Change, Science, Modern Civikization, Voltaire, Steam Engines, Technology, Opera, Portraits, Napoleon Bonaparte, Naval Warfare, Thomas Jefferson, Marquis de Lafayette, French Revolution, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Charles Edward, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Architecture, Botany). book. Bookseller Inventory # 87078X1

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Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. A nice, clean copy-new.Very fast shipping with tracking. Bookseller Inventory # 57133

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Book Description Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. Book is New, In Excellent condition. Quantity Available: 1. ISBN: 0743226194. ISBN/EAN: 9780743226196. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 1560768136. Bookseller Inventory # 1560768136

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Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110743226194

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