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May 1966

The Beginnings of Modern Science.

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Edited by Rene Taton. Price, $17.50. Pp 667, with 55 black & white illustrations and 36 line drawings. Basic Books, Inc., 404 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10016, 1965.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(5):728-729. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870110120027

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Abstract

This is a big, expensive book packed with facts and touted by many authorities in encomiums on its dust jacket. It is not an interesting book and it gives rather a wrong impression of science. Perhaps the difficulty is that this is a book without an obvious audience. It is clearly not written for professionals in the history of science; it is far too superficial, telling only the most obvious facts from different scientific disciplines in a disjointed fashion without a coherent theme. It is just as obviously not written for a beginner to the history of science since its style, with the long compilations of individual achievements that read like high school honor rolls would, by its impersonality, kill any curiosity for further study. It is one of those books, I am afraid, written because it seems necessary to have a kind of encyclopedia that mentions everything in something

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