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  • Published: 27 February 2007
  • ISBN: 9780143038832
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
Categories:

A World on Fire

A Heretic, an Aristocrat, and the Race to Discover Oxygen



Like Charles Seife’s Zero and Dava Sobel’s Longitude, this passionate intellectual history is the story of the intersection of science and the human, in this case the rivals who discovered oxygen in the late 1700s. That breakthrough changed the world as radically as those of Newton and Darwin but was at first eclipsed by revolution and reaction. In chronicling the triumph and ruin of the English freethinker Joseph Priestley and the French nobleman Antoine Lavoisier—the former exiled, the latter executed on the guillotine—A World on Fire illustrates the perilous place of science in an age of unreason.

  • Published: 27 February 2007
  • ISBN: 9780143038832
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
Categories:

About the author

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson was a prominent police officer for 32 years. He rose through the ranks to Detective Superintendent and presided over many murder and serious crime investigations. He is now retired and lives in Glasgow.

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Praise for A World on Fire

An exhilarating narrative, sweeping us through great discoveries and international rivalries, yet strengthened by meticulous research and analysis. (Jenny Uglow, author of The Lunar Men) This tale of eminent scientists victimized by political ideology is told with passion and a splendid attention to vivid detail. (Paul Johnson, author of Modern Times)

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