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- Lanzamiento previsto: 6 de abr. de 2021
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Descripción de editorial
Stephen Hawking was widely recognized as the world's best physicist and even the most brilliant man alive–but what if his true talent was self-promotion?
When Stephen Hawking died, he was widely recognized as the world's best physicist, and even its smartest person.
He was neither.
In Hawking Hawking, science journalist Charles Seife explores how Stephen Hawking came to be thought of as humanity's greatest genius. Hawking spent his career grappling with deep questions in physics, but his renown didn't rest on his science. He was a master of self-promotion, hosting parties for time travelers, declaring victory over problems he had not solved, and wooing billionaires. Confined to a wheelchair and physically dependent on a cadre of devotees, Hawking still managed to captivate the people around him—and use them for his own purposes.
A brilliant exposé and powerful biography, Hawking Hawking uncovers the authentic Hawking buried underneath the fake. It is the story of a man whose brilliance in physics was matched by his genius for building his own myth.
Journalist Seife (Virtual Unreality) takes a convoluted look at the life of physicist and renowned science communicator Stephen Hawking (1942 2018). Seife makes the case that despite the glowing press Hawking received, he was neither the world's preeminent physicist nor a particularly talented writer. Instead, "he was a brand." Nodding to Hawking's passion for theories of time travel, Seife tells his story in reverse order, beginning with Hawking's death and rewinding to his birth. Seife covers Hawking's education at Cambridge University, his first wife Jane's memoirs, and tabloid coverage of his "sexual outings in California." Unfortunately, Seife's telling in reverse is more gimmicky than instructive, despite Seife's claim that "the life of Stephen Hawking becomes clearer as time moves backward, as the accumulated layers of celebrity and legend are stripped away." That Seife recognizes the problems with this approach is clear from the frequency with which he alerts readers that pertinent information will appear in later chapters, from earlier in Hawking's life. Seife also isn't always successful in translating high-level physics into accessible terms ("The Feynman path integral method works in a manifold that has a Euclidian geometry," for example). Readers will gain a glimpse into the life of a larger-than-life scientist, even if Seife doesn't bring a lot new to the table.