The title of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s book is certainly accurate. He begins with a plunge into the universe prior to the big bang and immediately explodes outward into explanations of a changing cosmos. Tyson explains with passionate enthusiasm where elements come from, why stars and planets are round, why galaxies take the shape of tortillas and much more. His renown and respect in his field generates an almost instant reader trust. Tyson’s writing is lively and approachable; he deals with every topic with humor and good will. You may feel as if a knowledgeable friend is explaining the universe to you – one worthy analogy or pop culture reference at a time.
However, Tyson’s strengths can at times turn into his weaknesses: He moves so fast through scientific principles and topics that he may well lose those readers who might appreciate more detail and context. Perhaps he recognizes that most people don’t want to understand the scientific principles; they just like hearing him explain the universe’s function. Tyson provides a compelling read for anyone interested in science, the nature of the universe and clear explanations of complex phenomena.
About the Author
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, PhD, is director of the Hayden Planetarium, which is part of the American Museum of Natural History.