I sincerely wish Leonard Mlodinow comes out with a students’ edition of this remarkable book. This is a book that needs to be made prescribed, if not compulsory reading for every student who has taken up Science and every other student who wished he had taken up the subject. Covering within its sweep themes such as evolutionary biology, theoretical and quantum physics and chemistry, Mlodinow’s magnificent tour de force traces the cultural, social, sociological, and scientific evolution of man. The journey covering millions and millions of years introduces the awe-inspired reader to pioneering personalities who have changed the course of the world with their stupendous inventions and discoveries. These colossal figures beginning with the prodigious Aristotle and concluding with maestros such as Stephen Hawking demonstrated to the world in their own fundamentally simple fashion that all it takes to alter the course of history is an unfettered curiosity to question. Uprooting the conventional and debating the stereotypical is what fosters genuine progress in most of the social as well as physical sciences.
The astounding examples of Dmitri Mendeleev, Charles Darwin, Werner Heisenberg et al furnished ample testimony to the qualities of patience and perseverance. Their exploits undoubtedly serve as irresistible inspiration to every aspiring individual striving to make a mark in his chosen field of profession. Mlodinow himself is a theoretical physicist of some repute. The deft and dexterity with which he manages to condense the import of esoteric subjects into extraordinarily lucid and conceptual language is the biggest highlight of the book. The moving tribute paid by the author to his late father (a survivor of Nazi atrocities) makes for a memorably moving passage that begs re-reading.
“The Upright Thinkers” – has the potential to be an enduring Masterpiece!