Book Reviews & Podcasts

Trinity: a graphic history of the first atomic bomb, cover image   Book Review: Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb
By Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
Hill and Wang, 2012

An audacious graphic novel covers an old subject—the Manhattan Project—in a new and revealing way
Reviewed by Glenn Zorpette // September 2012

The Race for What’s Left
By Michael T. Klare
Metropolitan Books, 2012

Micheal Klare examines the global competition for Earth’s dwindling reserves of oil, minerals, and fertile land
Reviewed by William Sweet // June 2012


Liars & Outliers
By Bruce Schneier
Wiley, 2012

Bruce Schneier’s new book explores the relationships of trust on which civilization depends
Reviewed by Paul Wallich // February 2012


Podcast: Job Hunting in the Internet Age
A Techwise Conversation with Mike Junge, author of Purple Squirrel: Stand Out, Land Interviews, and Master the Modern Job Market
Amazon Digital Services, 2012
By Steven Cherry // 24 February 2012


Podcast: Innovation Is Hard
A Techwise Conversation with Scott D. Anthony, author of The Little Black Book of Innovation: How It Works, How to Do It
Harvard Business Press Books, 2012
By Steven Cherry // 14 February 2012


How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic
By Michael Jay Geier
McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics, 2011

Michael Jay Geier can fix anything—and he wants you to as well
Reviewed by Paul Wallich // December 2011


Podcast: Reinventing the Scientific Method
A Techwise Conversation with Michael Nielsen, author of Reinventing Discovery, The New Era of Networked Science
Princeton University Press, 2011
By Steven Cherry // 30 December 2011


The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World
By Daniel Yergin
Penguin, 2011

Daniel Yergin’s new book is a logical successor to earlier ones on national security and energy policy
Reviewed by William Sweet // November 2011


Life Without Oil: Why We Must Shift to a New Energy Future
By Steve Hallett, with John Wright
Prometheus Books, 2011

The first half of the petroleum age saw unprecedented prosperity. The second half won't be so pretty
Reviewed by Dave Levitan // August 2011


The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps
By Peter D. Ward
Basic Books, 2010

Peter D. Ward's imaginative blend of science and fiction starkly depicts the dangers of rising sea levels
Reviewed by Dave Levitan // June 2011


This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
By Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff
Princeton University Press, 2009

A detailed study of tech bubbles and other financial booms and busts finds recurring—and sobering—patterns
Reviewed by Andrew M. Odlyzko // April 2011


Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family
By Devra Davis
Dutton, 2010

Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn't Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution
By Ann Louise Gittleman
HarperOne, 2010

Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization
By Samuel Milham
iUniverse.com, 2010

Three books take on conventional wisdom about the health risks of electromagnetic fields
Reviewed by Kenneth R. Foster // March 2011


Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control
By James Rodger Fleming
Columbia University Press, 2010

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues From Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
By Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway
Bloomsbury Press, 2010

Weather modification, missile defense, acid rain--there's a lot going on in the sky besides climate change, and it's just as contentious
Reviewed by William Sweet // March 2011


The Fuller Memorandum
By Charles Stross; Ace Hardcover, 2010
The final episode in Charles Stross's Laundry Files trilogy proves that he is the new king of sci-fi—and a bunch of other genres, too
Reviewed by Sally Adee // February 2011


Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light
By Jane Brox; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
Jane Brox tells the story of our long and sudden emergence from darkness
Reviewed by Kieron Murphy // February 2011


Dawn of the Electronic Age: Electrical Technologies in the Shaping of the Modern World, 1914 to 1945
By Frederik Nebeker; Wiley-IEEE Press, 2009
An IEEE historian offers the key to understanding an era
Reviewed by Kieron Murphy // January 2011


The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won't Tell You About Global Warming
By Roger Pielke Jr.; Basic Books, 2010
What Roger Pielke won't tell you about fixing global warming is far more than what he will
Reviewed by Dave Levitan // January 2011


Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future
By Matthew E. Kahn; Basic Books, 2010
In a new book, economist Matthew Kahn offers more optimism than solutions to the problems of climate change
Reviewed by Dave Levitan // December 2010


Live TV From the Moon
By Dwight Steven-Boniecki; Apogee Books, 2010
A new book chronicles the greatest show on Earth—and off it
Reviewed by Kieron Murphy // November 2010


The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems
By Henry Petroski; Alfred A. Knopf, 2010
Henry Petroski's latest book asks why engineering doesn't get the respect that science does
Reviewed by Kenneth R. Foster // October 2010


Peddling Peril: How the Secret Nuclear Trade Arms America's Enemies
By Daniel Albright; Free Press, 2010
One man's theft of nuclear secrets dispersed atom bomb technologies to North Korea and Libya
Reviewed by William Sweet // September 2010


 

Cosmic Noise: A History of Early Radio Astronomy
By Woodruff T. Sullivan III; Cambridge University Press, 2009
In a not-so-brief history, a radio astronomer chronicles the birth of a new science
Reviewed by Kieron Murphy // September 2010


George Lucas’s Blockbusting
Edited by Alex Ben Block & Lucy Autrey Wilson, It Books/Harper Collins, 2010
George Lucas's in-house publishing company shows us the money'and the attendance figures, and the production budgets, and the actors' salaries, and...
Reviewed by Mark Anderson // September 2010


Taming the Beloved Beast: How Medical Technology Costs Are Destroying Our Health Care System
By Daniel Callahan
Princeton University Press, 2009

A noted bioethicist argues for age-based rationing of high-tech health care
Reviewed by Kenneth R. Foster // July 2010


Early FM Radio: Incremental Technology in Twentieth-Century America
By Gary L. Frost
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010

A new biography reassesses the invention of FM
Reviewed by Michael Riezenman // July 2010


When the Lights Went Out
By David E. Nye
MIT Press, 2010

A historian’s new book sheds light on blackouts
Reviewed by Mark Anderson // July 2010


A Brilliant Darkness: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Ettore Majorana, the Troubled Genius of the Nuclear Age
By João Magueijo
Basic Books, 2009

Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century
By Masha Gessen
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009

A new biography of geometry genius Grigory Perelman is enjoyable, but not as successful as one of unheralded physicist Ettore Majorana
Reviewed by Mark Anderson // May 2010


Sphere Packing, Lewis Carroll, and Reversi
By Martin Gardner
Cambridge University Press, 2009

Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games columns collected in book form
Reviewed by Clive Feather // April 2010


Review: Modern Electric, Hybrid Electric, and Fuel Cell Vehicles: Fundamentals, Theory, and Design, Second Edition
By Mehrdad Ehsani, Yimin Gao, and Ali Emadi
CRC Press, 2009

The world’s leading introductory textbook on hybrid vehicles gets a timely update
Reviewed by James Gover // April 2010


Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up
By K.C. Cole; foreword by Murray Gell-Mann
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009

The brother of Robert Oppenheimer marched to the beat of his own drummer
Reviewed by Kieron Murphy // March 2010


Antimatter
By Frank Close
Oxford University Press, 2009

A useful tutorial about antimatter hides inside a book that promises a lot more than it delivers
Reviewed by Sally Adee // January 2010


The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement
By Jean M. Twenge & W. Keith Campbell
Free Press, 2009

Is Facebook making us narcissists?
Reviewed by Susan Karlin // January 2010


Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
By Matthew B. Crawford
Penguin Press, 2009

A gearhead’s surprisingly highbrow take on a mechanic’s work
Reviewed by David Schneider // December 2009


Superconductivity: A Very Short Introduction
By Stephen Blundell
Oxford University Press, 2009

An introductory book on superconductivity is short on pages but long on explanation
Reviewed by Sally Adee // December 2009


Fundamentals of Patenting and Licensing for Scientists and Engineers
By Matthew Y. Ma
World Scientific, 2009

A book about patents by an engineer, for engineers
Reviewed by Kirk Teska // October 2009


The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World
By Zack Lynch with Byron Laursen
St. Martin’s Press, 2009

The neuro revolution will not be televised, but there will be images—magnetic resonance images, for example
Reviewed by Mark Anderson // October 2009


Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age
By Kurt W. Beyer
MIT Press, 2009

A new biography of the woman who came up with the notion of the computer bug has some flaws of its own
Reviewed by Mark Anderson // September 2009


Nexus: Strategic Communications and American Security in World War I
By Jonathan Reed Winkler
Harvard University Press, 2008

A new book shows how a world war brought the United States into the modern communications age
Reviewed by Kieron Murphy // August 2009


The Edge of Medicine: The Technology That Will Change Our Lives
By William Hanson
Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

An explosion of technology is coming to medicine—if we can afford it
Reviewed by Kenneth R. Foster // August 2009