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Lucknow India
Cosmos BY Carl SAgan
Sep 15, 2009 05:21 PM 2066 Views



Cosmos By CarlSagan

CarlSagan-The man who taught the world about the Universe- needs no introduction.He has, for the unapprised, published hundreds of research papers, isthe co-author of many books, and has written books like “Contact” and“Pale Blue Dot”, both of which were quite popular on the bookstands. But before all these books and papers, he was an astronomer and anastrochemist. However, he stood out from the scientist crowd all thanksto his ability to make the layman understand the science of astronomy.The documentary titled “Cosmos-Apersonal voyage” is one of the most popular BBC documentaries tilldate, with some 600 million viewers in over 60 countries. Thisdocumentary was followed by a book, which was a sell-out, with over 5million copies sold in a matter of months! It remained on top of theNYC bestseller list for over 70 weeks. Here we will discuss the book, amaster piece fromCarlSagan.

The book, Cosmos, has been written in a tone which is far from super duper exciting!. It’s riveting, involving, so much so that you just cannot put the book down once whenyou’ve started reading it. The excitement once felt by the author whenhe must have discovered all these things can be felt by the reader too, and even the passages which explain scientific laws are so interestingto read, you wonder why your science book was not so interesting!Such is the writing prowess of CarlSagan, a scientist.

The author writes in a poetic manner, characteristic to him, whichis adored by all his readers the world over. Moreover, the way hetackles changes in the topics is commendable. The book is exciting toread and will surely increase one’s knowledge, not only aboutastronomy, but about other sciences as well. It also makes the readerrealize the importance of imagination and the vastness of humancapabilities. The book made me wonder how much more talented, dedicatedand pioneering people were back then, and how poor we are when it comesto observing, imagining, and innovating! As the author says, we mustfeel privileged to have been born in an age when many mysteries havebeen solved and our existence is not a big question mark for us, thatwe are the beneficiaries of results drawn from thousands of years ofkeen observation.

Even thoughthe documentary was a video & audio one, the book is full of vividdescriptions which make the scene come alive. The book scores a pluspoint when it comes to a detailed explanation over the documentaryThe author does not hide his imaginations from the readers because heknows that the questions that troubled him during childhood are commonquestions. It’s just that he pursued a career in astronomy and nowknows the answers. He therefore, makes it a point to include histhoughts, which are wonderful, as they immediately connect the readerwith the authors’ views, thereby fulfilling what the author alwayswanted-A better understanding of our universe and its constituents bythe general population.

The book has been set in a logical sequence. The author first introduces us to our cosmos, our position, our neighbours, the other constituents of the cosmos, and what and how learned men, during ancient times, knew, or tried to know, about Earth and the space.Full review at

The last chapter is the best. It is the most imaginative, it haslessons for all of us, it tells us of our limits, our past follies andhow to learn from them. The Author describes his dream which is a verytouching one. It has deep lessons for mankind. In the end, CarlSagan, the author, asks us to cherish life and continue our journey in theCosmos.

“Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.”Do read it!

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Cosmos - Carl Sagan