It was a rescue operation for an unlikely victim: 16th-century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. After reading critic Arthur Koestler’s almost casual dismissal of Copernicus’ groundbreaking 1543 tome ”De revolutionibus,” Gingerich began his 30-year crusade to restore the reputation of the Polish-born genius who first challenged the long-held notion of an earth-centric universe. With indefatigable zeal, the Harvard prof set out to locate the 600 or so extant first and second printings of Copernicus’ book – finding that most were filled with the kinds of annotations that suggested heavy use. (Take that, Mr. Koestler!) Gingerich’s travels took him around the world, bringing encounters with rare-book dealers, petty Communist Party officials, larcenous bibliophiles, and at least one hostile attorney. The result is an adventure book not of the white-knuckle variety, but with a genteel, satisfying tone all its own.
The Book Nobody Read It was a rescue operation for an unlikely victim: 16th-century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. After reading critic Arthur Koestler's almost casual...The Book Nobody ReadHistory, Science and Technology, NonfictionOwen Gingerich It was a rescue operation for an unlikely victim: 16th-century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. After reading critic Arthur Koestler's almost casual...2004-02-27
Genre: History, Science and Technology, Nonfiction; Author: Owen Gingerich
Posted February 27 2004 — 12:00 AM EST
- 'Crimson Peak' exclusive: Mia Wasikowska flees the darkness in Guillermo del Toro's Gothic chiller
- Beach reads: 15 heart-stopping thrillers to dive into this summer
- Zack Snyder defends ‘Man of Steel’ ending: You can’t have superheroes knock around with no consequences
- 50 Songs for 50 States: EW's favorite patriotic pop through the years
- 'Big Brother': Julie Chen answers our burning Q's about Jace, Audrey, and a twist
- See Nic Cage in his 'Superman Lives' costume
- Ava DuVernay won't direct Marvel film
- 'Back to the Future' turns 30: See the cast, then and now
- 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice': 6 EW exclusive photos
- Comic-Con 2015 preview: 10 panels we can't wait to see
- 'Seinfeld' faves: Where are they now?
- 14 high school movies that defined their year
- Eddie Redmayne, Eva Longoria, Flo Rida & More!