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From the Publisher
In this entertaining and authoritative biography, first published in 1994, Michael Sharratt examines the flair, imagination, hard-headedness, clarity, combativeness and penetrating intelligence of Galileo Galilei. To follow Galileo''s career as he exploited unforeseen opportunities to unseat established ways of comprehending nature is to understand a crucial stage of the Scientific Revolution. Galileo was a pathbreaker for the newly-invented telescope, the decoder of nature''s mathematical language and a quite brilliant popularizer of science. Even his reluctant excursion into theology has at last been officially and handsomely recognized by the Church''s "rehabilitation" of the Inquisition''s most famous victim, fully discussed in the last chapter. This book makes his lasting contributions accessible to nonscientists and his mistakes are not overlooked. This is not a mythical story, but the biography of an innovator--one of the greatest ever known.