Saturday, October 31, 2009

Newton and the Countefeiter

I'd like to suggest a book to you, entitled Newton and the Counterfeiter, by Thomas Levenson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Levenson is a professor in Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT.

We are all familiar with Isaac Newton's outstanding contributions to science and mathematics, but how many know about his career after 1695? In that year, tired of university life at Cambridge, he moved to London to become Warden of the Royal Mint.

There, he ran into another very bright person, in the form of William Chaloner, an accomplished counterfeiter, who was rising through the ranks of the underworld. As he had in other fields, Newton invented methods of investigation and proof, but these were designed to catch criminals.

Mr. Levenson's writing style is engaging, and you find yourself turning pages quickly. The book reads more like a novel than non-fiction, and the factual basis for the story makes it even more intriguing.

4 comments:

e-Patient Dave said...

Wow, the author's interview and reader reviews on Amazon boost my interest.

How do you find time to read??

Good team, I know, and I imagine a knack for setting things in motion and stepping back...

Paul Levy said...

I read it while on a non-wifi plane flight.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it takes complete unplugging to read an actual book these days? Sigh.
(no criticism intended; just the way society is going.)

Probably beats golf though, eh?! (:

nonlocal

BCC said...

I recommend this book, as well. Levenson's a pretty good blogger, too:

http://inversesquare.wordpress.com/