I have been looking forward to reading this book. I love astrophysics, and at one point planned on studying it in college. This book also won the Goodreads best non fiction book for 2017. Add all this together and I couldn't wait to actually read this book.
Then I started and within the first two chapters I was ready to stop reading.
There is no doubt that deGrasse Tyson is well studied in his field. He also communicated the complexities of astrophysics (as well as other sciences) in a great and easy to understand way. If he would have just stuck to the science then this would have been a five star review all the way.
Except that he didn't.
He insulted people who think that the universe could be instigated by a God and there is tons of blame for Christianity causing a misinterpretation of how the Earth is placed in the universe. Historically this is very accurate. Except that he did not present it historically, it was presented more as a "who could possibly believe this way."
I could get past that. Religion and science have a complex history. However, why did he have to fat shame people for blaming being overweight on the gravity of Earth. And there was a dig into all residents of Minnesota. I didn't even get the reference, there was no reason that it needed to be included.
At one point he also said that physics is the only truth, and everything else is fiction. Which eliminates every other science as being legitimate.
Although, I doubt he even considers Psychology a science. There were several digs into Psychology specifically. The last one being stating that a psychologist had to have a massive ego for wanting to do a pre and post test (a valid scientific study) on participants who watched an astronomy show at a planetarium. His claim for why the psychologist had a big ego - because he, Neil deGrasse Tyson, does not feel depressed at the vastness at the cosmos. Seems like a pretty egotistical reason to me. Unfortunately, the only way to know what the viewers felt would be to do a psychological study.
Not everyone will feel the way that I do about this book. I completely understand that. The issues that I had with this book will not be concerns for others. Some individuals may even see them as bonus. However, I read the book to read about astrophysics, not his personal perspective on human nature.
This book was first published back in 1988. I remember reading it when I was in middle school when most of what I read was physic oriented non-fiction. I was fascinated with time. While this did not really go into time as much as the title would suggest, it was one of my favorite books.
It has been many years since I have read this book. I have grown both educationally and maturity. In addition, the field of physics has changed since this work was first published. Reading it again, after many years, the work took on a different perspective. There were many ideas that were once unique and fresh that I found to be commonplace. Even talking about Hawking's hope for black holes to be confirmed was more nostalgic than a scientific wonder. I talk with my kids with them regularly - yes really.
This book deserves to continue to be read. While it was not the first science book to be written for the non-scientist, it is one that made doing such more popular. It is written in such a way to engage and excite even those who do not usually engage in science.
This site may contain affiliate links, these links refer back to products. They do not cost the consumer any additional money. They do help fund the blog. In addition, some books may be provided to the site for free in exchange for an honest review, others come from the library, others are obtained for free off Amazon, some come from my private purchase. Regardless of how the books were obtained all reviews are my honest opinion.