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Isaac Newton : The story of one of the greatest mathematicians who changed our perception of the universe /

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Science writer Michael White's subtitle, The Last Sorcerer, echoes John Maynard Keynes's assertion in 1942 that Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was not the Olympian rationalist portrayed by his worshipful early biographers. Newton was a great scientist, the author acknowledges; he was also an "obsessive, driven mystic," deeply involved in the pseudoscience of alchemy, subscriber to a heretical sect of Christianity, and damaged survivor of childhood traumas that rendered him a difficult, egotistical, quarrelsome adult. White makes recent research accessible to the general reader in lucid prose that knocks the academic dust off a towering historical figure.

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