How did such an intellectual giant spring up out of nowhere? Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky was the founder of Russian astrophysics and cosmonautics. He was a self-taught scientist, inventor, philosopher and science fiction writer. He lost his hearing at age 10; he struggled in obscurity, earning a living as a school teacher; while he was in his prime the Soviet Revolution changed his world - but nothing stopped him from achieving his life's purpose.
Historian and biographer Dan Shubin presents Tsiolkovsky's life story and a selection of his compositions including autobiographical notes, his cosmic and political philosophy, and his science fiction writings.
Tsiolkovsky's most important designs include the jet-propelled engine, the use of rockets for space travel, and dirigibles made with a metallic shield. His scientific studies contributed to the advancement of technology and science in Soviet Russia. As a teacher he became adept at explaining complex problems in vivid ways that were both clear and inspiring. This talent infused his writing, and his prose has been compared to that of Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein. His stories about travel to the moon and throughout the solar system, and his special brand of cosmic philosophy, motivated the Soviet public to dream of reaching the stars.
Unique with Tsiolkovsky was his conviction that advanced life existed on other planets and his confidence in man's ability to progress toward the settlement and development of planetary systems throughout outer space.
Ever a man ahead of his times, toward the end of his life Tsiolkovsky campaigned for equal rights of all citizens and the abolition of war and violence.
This volume includes a biography and a selection of Tsiolkovsky's autobiographical sketches, his cosmic and socialist philosophies, and an example of his science fiction.
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Daniel H. Shubin has translated and authored several books dealing with Russian biography, history, philosophy and religion, including a 4-volume History of Russian Christianity (published with Algora). Shubin has traveled extensively throughout Russia, studying the various sectarian movements.
In writing these histories and biographies, the author has relied on primary Russian-language works, especially, where appropriate, the medieval chronicles and the classic works of Russian historians.
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