Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book Review: The Invention of Air

Wow, was this a lucky surprise. I picked it up off the shelf at the library, randomly browsing their history section when another book I was looking for was out. Here' s a link to the book on Amazon:

The Invention of Air: A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America

The book is the story of Joseph Priestley, who though he is not nearly as well known as the founding fathers of the US, was friend to many of them, published over 150 works, and did no less than discover oxygen and the concept of biosystems.

It's a fascinating bit of history, and holds some interesting lessons for today. For example, after providing for his family for several years under patronage of a wealthy individual, that patronage was revoked. He then had the idea of crowd-sourcing that patronage, distributing among a collection of patrons to diversify risk. I couldn't help but think of many of the game projects being done on Kickstrarter.

Anyhow, fun bit of reading and illuminating from the standpoint of history, politics, and science

No comments: