Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc (Paperback)
In the spirit of A Short History of Nearly Everything comes Periodic Tales. Award-winning science writer Hugh Andersey-Williams offers readers a captivating look at the elements—and the amazing, little-known stories behind their discoveries. Periodic Tales is an energetic and wide-ranging book of innovations and innovators, of superstition and science and the myriad ways the chemical elements are woven into our culture, history, and language. It will delight readers of Genome, Einstein’s Dreams, Longitude, and The Age of Wonder.
About the Author
Hugh Aldersey-Williams is the author of numerous books on architecture, design, and science, including Panicology and The Most Beautiful Molecule, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He lives in Norfolk, England.
“[A] virtuoso tour of the periodic table.”
— Publishers Weekly
“[C]harming. . . . Aldersey-Williams writes with simplicity and elegance. The stories may not help you on your next chemistry test, but they’ll help you appreciate the building blocks that are all around us yet all too easy to overlook.”
— Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
“A lucid, enjoyable collection . . . that, element by element, demystifies the iconic periodic table.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Aldersey-Williams’s playful, hands-on approach to scientific exploration shines through the book.”
— Boston Globe
For the UK edition: “[F]ascinating and beautiful. . . . If only chemistry had been like this at school. . . . [A] rich compilation of delicious tales.”
— Matt Ridley, Prospect magazine