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Synopsis

In The Day the Universe Changed, James Burke examines eight periods in history when our view of the world shifted dramatically: in the eleventh century, when extraordinary discoveries were made by Spanish crusaders; in fourteenth-century Florence, where perspective in painting emerged; in the fifteenth century, when the advent of the printing press shook the foundations of an oral society; in the sixteenth century, when gunnery developments triggered the birth of modern science; in the early eighteenth century, when hot English summers brought on the Industrial Revolution; in the battlefield surgery stations of the French revolutionary armies, where people first became statistics; in the nineteenth century, when the discovery of dinosaur fossils led to the theory of evolution; and in the 1820s, when electrical experiments heralded the end of scientific certainty. Based on the popular television documentary series, The Day the Universe Changed is a bestselling history that challenges the reader to decide whether there is absolute knowledge to discover - or whether the universe is "ultimately what we say it is".

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