Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Review: The Invention Of Air
This was fascinating, and more technical/scientific/philosophical than books I've grown used to reading. Provides a decent mental workout of following the arguments he makes, but not difficult at all. It's interesting to hear Priestley's experiments explained, but I was expecting him to have a little more influence on American Founding Fathers. Definitely interesting he had influence at all, but the contact was essentially a bunch of letters between him and Franklin, and a few between him and Jefferson. After the blurb talked it up so much, Johnson almost skips past it. Interesting to hear of his ideas about Christianity, which truly seems to have helped berth the Jefferson Bible. He definitely got stuck on this stupid theory of "phlogiston" which I think is totally silly and possesses an absurd name.
I don't often read biographies, but this made me glad I watched HBO's John Adams, and made me want to read a good biography about Ben Franklin (and not Priestley)! The book wandered a bit, but I'm glad he did his research and wrote about religion and progressive politics.