Carl Sagan: A Life

Carl Sagan: A Life

Hardcover

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Carl Sagan 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With a biographer like this, who needs enemies? I learned little from this book about Carl Sagan but found more than enough comments by those who resented him. Davidson seems intent on portraying Sagan as the Doctor Seuss of science, a Daffy Duck of cosmology, rather than the visionary and electrifying genius he truly was. When Davidson tires of quoting critics (rarely), he even describes the landmark 'Cosmos' series in demeaning terms, attributing its success to Sagan's 'quirky yet compelling persona' and showmanship. This is a tragically shallow book that missed a wonderful opportunity to tell us much about Carl Sagan the man, his real thinking, and where his magic came from.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this lengthy, thoroughly researched book a good read, even though the author had an annoying habit of making too many repetitive comments. Note to the Author: We can remember what you said on page 50, you don't have to repeat it 5 more times in the book. Ah, but I digress. Did I find that Sagan had skeletons in the closet? Yes, including a claim of wife-beating. Was I surprised he was egotistical? No, especially the way he lived for self-promotion. The latter cannot be such a character trait to condemn the man since very few ego-less people ever aspire to the publishing and television genius he demonstrated. I do not ask that biographies of the people I hold in some esteem be sugar-coated (and this one isn't). I learned long ago that successful people make enemies who are all too happy to talk about them after their demise. I simply ask that the biography be well documented which this book is with over 100 pages of source references at the end. I did not finish the book with the belief, stated elsewhere, that the author disliked Sagan. Rather, Sagan was portrayed at worst as short on hands-on science, but long on dreams and ideas. While hard scientists may fault this portion of his work, it is what endeared him to his ultimate true audience: the readers of his books and his television audience. Sagan had a gift for explaining complicated ideas to non-scientists. Was this a fault? Of course not. It was a gift. To date, no scientist has picked up his mantel with the masses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I you want to understand the personality of this great scientist, here you will find a detailed, impartial and well balanced description of his life. His glorious moments, his charm, his love for astronomy, his achievements in science ...and in the other hand his flamboyant behavior, his selfishness and his fears. In short, Carl Sagan as a human being. Well documented, the author made his job investigating every source related to the scientist. I think this is an excelent book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well written and informative look into the life of a very popular scientist. Carl Sagan is depicted as very human with all the accompanying weaknesses while still courting greatness in his actions and deeds.