Time Travel: A History

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Pantheon Books, 2016 - History - 336 pages
12 Reviews
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"From the acclaimed author of The Information and Chaos, here is a mind-bending exploration of time travel: its subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself. The story begins at the turn of the previous century, with the young H.G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book and an international sensation: The Time Machine. It was an era when a host of forces was converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological: the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations, and the perfection of clocks. James Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea that becomes part of contemporary culture--from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Jorge Luis Borges to Woody Allen. He investigates the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future."--Publisher's description.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kevn57 - LibraryThing

My favorite parts were about the SF classics, Pulps and HG Wells, next up for me to read By His Bootstraps by Robert A. Heinlein, Gleick devotes a chapter to this SF classic. Then I'd like to find a biography of HG Wells. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TobinElliott - LibraryThing

While this didn't go as deep into the science and stuck more with the literary and cultural aspects of the history of time travel, I still found Gleick's conversational style good enough to keep me interested from start to finish. Read full review

Contents

Fin de Siècle
21
Philosophers and Pulps
45
Ancient Light
73
By Your Bootstraps
91
Arrow of Time
109
A River a Path a Maze
123
Eternity
145
Buried Time
165
The Paradoxes
219
What Is Time?
245
Our Only Boat
269
Presently
289
Acknowledgments
311
Sources and Further Reading
313
Index
319
Illustration Credits
331

Backward
189

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About the author (2016)

JAMES GLEICK (around.com) is our leading chronicler of science and technology, the best-selling author of Chaos: Making a New Science, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, and The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. His books have been translated into thirty languages.

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