History

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Nancy Marie Brown

The popular picture of the Dark Ages is wrong, according to Brown, a Vermont freelance. "The earth wasn't flat. People weren't terrified that the world would end at the turn of the millennium," she writes. "Christians didn't believe Muslims and Jews were their mortal enemies. The Church wasn't anti-science." In fact, the pope in the year 1000 was the leading mathematician and astronomer of his day. His name was Gerbert of Aurillac and he was known during his lifetime as "The Scientist Pope."

K.C. Cole

K. C. Cole — a friend and colleague of Frank Oppenheimer for many years — has drawn from letters, documents, and extensive interviews to write a very personal story of the man whose irrepressible spirit would inspire many. As a young man Frank followed in his famous brother's footsteps — growing up in a privileged Manhattan household, becoming a physicist and working on the atomic bomb. Tragically, Frank and Robert both had their careers destroyed by the Red Scare. But their paths diverged.

Barbara Moran

Barbara Moran marshals a wealth of new information and recently declassified material to give the definitive account of the Cold War's biggest nuclear weapons disaster. On Jan. 17, 1966, a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber exploded over the sleepy Spanish farming village of Palomares during a routine airborne refueling. The explosion killed seven airmen and scattered the bomber's payload — four unarmed thermonuclear bombs — across miles of coastline.

Reto U. Schneider

Schneider says his work on mad-science experiments originated as a by-product of his time as the head of the science section of a now-defunct Swiss news magazine. "I accumulated a stack of research studies about weird experiments. Unfortunately, my editor had no desire to see these appear in print, because they violated all the basic journalistic criteria. They were utterly inconsequential, hopelessly ancient, or both." Schneider decided to hold on to his pile of clippings.

Dennis Schatz

Science educator Dennis Schatz has written for children a biography of Thomas Edison. In this 40-page book, Schatz describes Edison's life and his world-changing inventions: the phonograph, electric lighting, movie projectors, and more. The book includes a hand-crank-powered kinetoscope, filmstrip images to view, and blank strips to make simple moving pictures. Schatz is senior vice president for strategic programs at Pacific Science Center, in Seattle.

Lorraine Jean Hopping

Mummies are certainly tempting to touch, but that's not permitted in the museums where they're usually found. Hopping's interactive book not only allows but encourages young readers to touch — and learn all about — an Egyptian mummy. They learn how Egyptians buried and entombed their dead including the making of burial masks, giving amulets for an underworld journey, wrapping mummies from head to toe, preserving the body, and placing sacred organs in canopic jars.

Nancy Marie Brown

This 20-volume set is written by more than 5,000 international leaders in science and technology, including 35 Nobel Prize laureates, all selected and invited to contribute by McGraw-Hill's board of consulting editors. Readers will find over 7,000 articles covering nearly 100 fields of science, more than 1,700 new and updated articles, and 12,000 illustrations. The encyclopedia spans 97 subject areas, covering major disciplines in science and technology.