Details

ISBN-10: 0393343405
ISBN-13: 9780393343403
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date: 09/04/2012
Dimensions: 8.22" L, 5.55" W, 0.94" H

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Paperback

Price: $16.95

In stock

Overview

In the winter of 1417, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties plucked a very old manuscript off a dusty shelf in a remote monastery, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. He was Poggio Bracciolini, the greatest book hunter of the Renaissance. His discovery, Lucretius’ ancient poem On the Nature of Things, had been almost entirely lost to history for more than a thousand years.

It was a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functions without the aid of gods, that religious fear is damaging to human life, that pleasure and virtue are not opposites but intertwined, and that matter is made up of very small material particles in eternal motion, randomly colliding and swerving in new directions. Its return to circulation changed the course of history. The poem’s vision would shape the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein, and–in the hands of Thomas Jefferson–leave its trace on the Declaration of Independence.

From the gardens of the ancient philosophers to the dark chambers of monastic scriptoria during the Middle Ages to the cynical, competitive court of a corrupt and dangerous pope, Greenblatt brings Poggio’s search and discovery to life in a way that deepens our understanding of the world we live in now.

“An intellectually invigorating, nonfiction version of a Dan Brown-like mystery-in-the-archives thriller.” —Boston Globe

Read More
Reviews
The ideas in The Swerve are tucked, cannily, inside a quest narrative. . . . The details that Mr. Greenblatt supplies throughout The Swerve are tangy and exact. . . . There is abundant evidence here of what is Mr. Greenblatt's great and rare gift as a writer: an ability, to borrow a phrase from The Swerve, to feel fully 'the concentrated force of the buried past.'– "New York Times"
More Reviews

Details

ISBN-10: 0393343405
ISBN-13: 9780393343403
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date: 09/04/2012
Dimensions: 8.22" L, 5.55" W, 0.94" H
Skip to content