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In this fascinating foray into the centuries-old relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer-researcher Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. "The overlap is strong, and the knowledge flows in both directions," say the authors, because astrophysicist In this fascinating foray into the centuries-old relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer-researcher Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. "The overlap is strong, and the knowledge flows in both directions," say the authors, because astrophysicists and military planners care about many of the same things: multi-spectral detection, ranging, tracking, imaging, high ground, nuclear fusion, and access to space. Tyson and Lang call it a "curiously complicit" alliance. "The universe is both the ultimate frontier and the highest of high grounds," they write. "Shared by both space scientists and space warriors, it’s a laboratory for one and a battlefield for the other. The explorer wants to understand it; the soldier wants to dominate it. But without the right technology—which is more or less the same technology for both parties—nobody can get to it, operate in it, scrutinize it, dominate it, or use it to their advantage and someone else’s disadvantage." Spanning early celestial navigation to satellite-enabled warfare, Accessory to War is a richly researched and provocative examination of the intersection of science, technology, industry, and power that will introduce Tyson’s millions of fans to yet another dimension of how the universe has shaped our lives and our world.


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In this fascinating foray into the centuries-old relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer-researcher Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. "The overlap is strong, and the knowledge flows in both directions," say the authors, because astrophysicist In this fascinating foray into the centuries-old relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer-researcher Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. "The overlap is strong, and the knowledge flows in both directions," say the authors, because astrophysicists and military planners care about many of the same things: multi-spectral detection, ranging, tracking, imaging, high ground, nuclear fusion, and access to space. Tyson and Lang call it a "curiously complicit" alliance. "The universe is both the ultimate frontier and the highest of high grounds," they write. "Shared by both space scientists and space warriors, it’s a laboratory for one and a battlefield for the other. The explorer wants to understand it; the soldier wants to dominate it. But without the right technology—which is more or less the same technology for both parties—nobody can get to it, operate in it, scrutinize it, dominate it, or use it to their advantage and someone else’s disadvantage." Spanning early celestial navigation to satellite-enabled warfare, Accessory to War is a richly researched and provocative examination of the intersection of science, technology, industry, and power that will introduce Tyson’s millions of fans to yet another dimension of how the universe has shaped our lives and our world.

30 review for Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Forsyth

    An alternate (and, arguably, better) title for this could be THE HISTORY OF ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN LESS OF A HURRY, and it's just as fascinating and richly observed as Mr. Degrasse Tyson's slimmer volume from last year. Unfortunately, there's also a very long section in the middle that feels like an exhaustive attempt to find every UN declaration ever made about the use of outer space, and it really bogs down what has, up until that point, been a rollicking adventure through the ages. It's a An alternate (and, arguably, better) title for this could be THE HISTORY OF ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN LESS OF A HURRY, and it's just as fascinating and richly observed as Mr. Degrasse Tyson's slimmer volume from last year. Unfortunately, there's also a very long section in the middle that feels like an exhaustive attempt to find every UN declaration ever made about the use of outer space, and it really bogs down what has, up until that point, been a rollicking adventure through the ages. It's a good read, but not one that I think I'll be going back to in the years to come. It is undeniably successful at making you marvel at the universe, though, and there were prolonged sections where I read with wonder at the people and ideas contained within.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    "Many significant advances in our understanding of the cosmos are by-products of government investment in the apparatus of warfare, and many innovative instruments of destruction are by-products of advances in astrophysics." Neil deGrasse Tyson expands on this statement by leaps and bounds in his book: Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military. With almost 600 pages and nearly 19 hours via audio, Accessory to War is a mixture of science, history, education "Many significant advances in our understanding of the cosmos are by-products of government investment in the apparatus of warfare, and many innovative instruments of destruction are by-products of advances in astrophysics." Neil deGrasse Tyson expands on this statement by leaps and bounds in his book: Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military. With almost 600 pages and nearly 19 hours via audio, Accessory to War is a mixture of science, history, education, and thought-provoking contradictions and perspective. At times fascinating and at other times dry as a bone, I admit to needing several breaks during my reading experience. However, Tyson has a way of helping the common non-scientist, like me, learn about and understand subjects that may feel otherwise quite intimidating. Tyson begins this book with emotion and ends on a chapter filled with hope, both which I loved. The lengthy middle may be hit or miss for some but like he says in his first chapter, "It's better to see than not to see. It's better to know than not to know, better to understand than not to understand." Overall, Accessory to War offers an important learning opportunity that should be considered. My favorite quote: "Though smitten by the cosmos, we have no choice but to embrace it from multiple degrees of separation: when we want to know the motions of a star, we examine not the star itself, not an image of the star, not even the spectrum derived from the light recorded in an image of the star, but rather shifts in the patterns in the spectrum derived from the light recorded in an image of the star. A convoluted consummation. So astrophysicists have learned to be lateral thinkers, to come up with indirect solutions. True, scientists in general are skillful problem solvers. Physicists can build a better vacuum chamber or a bigger particle accelerator. Chemists can purify their ingredients, change the temperature, try out a novel catalyst. Biologists can experiment on organisms born and bred in the lab. Physicians can question their patients. Animal behaviorists can spend hours watching clans of their favorite creatures. Geologists can scrutinize a hillside ravine or dig up sample rocks. But astrophysicists need to find another way, never forgetting that we're the passive party in a singularly one-sided relationship."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jon Stone

    I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. For anyone interested in the linkage between the missions of science and warfighting, this book is for you. I feel like I can tell the pages written by Dr. Tyson, and those written by Avis Lang. That may sound negative, but it’s not. I think the humor and perspective of Dr. Tyson comes through more with the contrast. Anyone interested in the early days of space (both military and civil) should give this a r I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. For anyone interested in the linkage between the missions of science and warfighting, this book is for you. I feel like I can tell the pages written by Dr. Tyson, and those written by Avis Lang. That may sound negative, but it’s not. I think the humor and perspective of Dr. Tyson comes through more with the contrast. Anyone interested in the early days of space (both military and civil) should give this a read for a sort of intro to the subject. That aside, the book doesn’t paint a poignant picture of the military as I expected. It’s not pro-war, and not 100% anti-military either. Unless you are Aunt Melissa, that is. Overall a good read that I felt compelled to read whenever I had time to do so. Will buy this when out in paperback to have at home for sure.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bria

    After wading through the pages of medieval history, old rudimentary inventions like longitude, and the CNN opinion-like pages of anger at the American military, you got like five pages on the actual weapons of space and some information about a space war. The advertising and naming of this book was a smoke screen. It was 50% venting about how terrible we are as humans because we engage in war and spend money on it (which if you look at history, at least 50% of all nations energy went towards figh After wading through the pages of medieval history, old rudimentary inventions like longitude, and the CNN opinion-like pages of anger at the American military, you got like five pages on the actual weapons of space and some information about a space war. The advertising and naming of this book was a smoke screen. It was 50% venting about how terrible we are as humans because we engage in war and spend money on it (which if you look at history, at least 50% of all nations energy went towards fighting whether they were hunter/gathers or nations like Egypt. Once you have something, even if it’s a horse or bread, just look at Gengis Khan’s rise to power, someone else will want it) and the second 50% was describing how lucky we are that we spend money on war so we can advance our scientific research and pour more money towards scientists. If I wanted to read a book defaming America’s military history, I would. I didn’t want to read that here. I wanted a factual scientific read without snide adjectives and random quotes, sometimes without even names from who said them, siding with the I-hate-America rhetoric. I hate hypocrisy. Look Tyson and Lang, if you hate what America is doing, leave. It’s that simple. Take a stand. Instead you go on every talk show possible and use America to line your own pockets. Its also incredibly naive to think that if we didn’t spend money on our military that we would still be as safe as we are now. There is a reason Americans listen to traffic lights, that the police answer when you call, that you can walk down the street without being bombed. We have never seen war like other countries have. After the thirty years war a poem called the Widow was popular. It featured a woman, prematurely aged by war who lost her husband and children and home to it and now begged on the side of the road. We have never experienced that horror. So no, Tyson and Lang, I will not be joining you on your military witch hunt.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sirius Scientist

    A detailed account of the impact of specific sciences on military advancement and the resulting outcomes. Heavy on the military angle--for those who think this is going to be another popular physics book. This is not a deep dive into the theory of various physics and engineering disciplines, but instead a meshing of where funding comes from, politics, how projects are prioritized, what this prioritization does to science advancement on the global scale, how current events shape the ideals of the A detailed account of the impact of specific sciences on military advancement and the resulting outcomes. Heavy on the military angle--for those who think this is going to be another popular physics book. This is not a deep dive into the theory of various physics and engineering disciplines, but instead a meshing of where funding comes from, politics, how projects are prioritized, what this prioritization does to science advancement on the global scale, how current events shape the ideals of the next generation of scientists, and how discovery builds overtime. I'm too young to remember the anti-war sentiments that surrounded Vietnam, which so greatly impacted Neil, but some of my earliest memories of school are also the result of politics at the time. I remember having special drills during the cold war. Filing out into the hallways with my 5 or 6 year old classmates to line against the specially painted marks in the hall with our hands over our heads, or alarms sounding and getting under our desks in the same position. This is more geared to those readers who enjoy military history and strategy, with a new spin on how the machines of war are developed. I listened to this as an audiobook and that is definitely a regret. While it was well done in this format, I kept finding myself wanting to look up some of the specific things he mentioned, but laziness and desire to continue the story prevented this from actually occuring. I was particularly interested in the around the end of WWII and Cold War era. Other areas that were less modern or were just less interesting to me in general it would have been nice to skim instead of slogging through for fear of missing something due to media choice. I plan on purchasing the ebook and rereading the sections that were most interesting to me (mainly for the potential references to other source material).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Van Parys

    I enjoyed this book and I'm still confused as to why the title is "The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military" when it was more like "Space and the Military." Overall, I can see the relationship, but specifically, I mostly didn't see the relationship because it felt like astrophysics itself was barely explained. However, I am not an astrophysicist and possess a bare minimum of scientific knowledge and in all honesty I'm operating at about 3% of the brain capacity of Neil deGrass I enjoyed this book and I'm still confused as to why the title is "The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military" when it was more like "Space and the Military." Overall, I can see the relationship, but specifically, I mostly didn't see the relationship because it felt like astrophysics itself was barely explained. However, I am not an astrophysicist and possess a bare minimum of scientific knowledge and in all honesty I'm operating at about 3% of the brain capacity of Neil deGrasse Tyson, so ... Otherwise, this was an interesting book, and timely, considering it was released hot on the heels of the whole Space Force farce. However, after reading this book (and before reading it also), I'm not convinced Space Force is a bad idea, per se, it just seems more like a bloated bid for Trump American Superiority rather than a legitimate and respectable enterprise under our current president. The creation of an American Space Force would have to proceed with a sensitivity that Trump simply cannot muster. As dependent as we are on space (all that stuff floating around up there is important), there needs to be some sort of protection. But to what extent should that protection extend? Should we strive for a peaceful, cooperative space or defensive space? It's hard to say since we--as citizens of Earth and also its countries--rely so heavily societally and militarily on our space assets. Accessory to War doesn't provide the answers to militarized space, but it does offer a lot of thoughts, ideas, and repercussions to digest.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Hodge

    Wow, text-book level amount of history about scientific innovations and military advancements. Space, data, and the new "High-ground." I liked how this book had global information and did NOT just focus on American history and American scientific research. It was a bit like learning how sausage is made...… not pleasant to see the political machine at work... but necessary to get the research off the ground. What will be next on the great frontier?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Peter Mcloughlin

    Armies and Navies and militaries, in general, have depended on science for most of history. Astronomy is no exception. The symbiosis between Astronomy comes in the form of navigation technologies and sensing and detection. Be it navigating by the stars, using a telescope to survey a landscape on the grounds or the heavens, or using light unseen by ordinary eyes to peer into the skies or detect a foe. Tyson goes over the many intersections between astronomy and warfare. Goes to show that almost a Armies and Navies and militaries, in general, have depended on science for most of history. Astronomy is no exception. The symbiosis between Astronomy comes in the form of navigation technologies and sensing and detection. Be it navigating by the stars, using a telescope to survey a landscape on the grounds or the heavens, or using light unseen by ordinary eyes to peer into the skies or detect a foe. Tyson goes over the many intersections between astronomy and warfare. Goes to show that almost anything is dual use in this world.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Roger Smitter

    This book needs to be read by every congressperson and their advisors as well as every college faculty member. At the same time, every college/university physicist should read explain this book to every social science and humanities faculty member. deGrasse Tyson challenges us — in a very accessible way — to understand how humans have made war increasingly dangerous not just for the combatants but also the rest of us. He tells us how war has also been connected to the tools of physics. He doesn’ This book needs to be read by every congressperson and their advisors as well as every college faculty member. At the same time, every college/university physicist should read explain this book to every social science and humanities faculty member. deGrasse Tyson challenges us — in a very accessible way — to understand how humans have made war increasingly dangerous not just for the combatants but also the rest of us. He tells us how war has also been connected to the tools of physics. He doesn’t preach. He simply reminds us that war and physics have been connected for centuries. In the Prologue, the author challenges the theme that physicists do much more than simply make a weapon. He challenges all of us to be aware of the power of physics. Early in the book, he challenges the assumption that history must be destiny. He reminds us of what President Eisenhower warning about the “military-industrial” complex. He also takes us back in history—all he way back to the Romans and the use of tools of war that were created based on what humans knew about physics. His theme tis that the physics is always getting more powerful. The discoveries of physics led to more dangerous wars. About one-third of the way through the book, the author pulls out the often used phrase about the use of science: “What separates great scientists from ordinary scientists is not the capacity to answer the right question. It’s the capacity to ask the right question....”. P. 166. It’s clear that deGrasse Tyson is convinced that physicists must be aware of what their discoveries can do to humanity and the planet. After some more history he reminds us of the famous dictums concerning the nature of war: it is the continuation of policy by other means.” What is most powerful about the book is that the author takes another step: that “war and weapons can also be considered as problems of physics.” P. 240.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Munro

    Needs to be organized a bit better. Too much chronological jumping around. Otherwise an interesting read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    This is fantastic look at the history of astrophysics and its intersection with warming, much more thorough and well-sourced than most of Dr. Tyson's writing. It's aimed at an audience that wants to get into the weeds, so not those in a hurry. The first few chapters were interesting, but mostly in the realm of things I had heard before. The message came across as: "Psst, some technologies developed for war are also useful in science and vice versa". Not exactly earth-shattering. The technologies This is fantastic look at the history of astrophysics and its intersection with warming, much more thorough and well-sourced than most of Dr. Tyson's writing. It's aimed at an audience that wants to get into the weeds, so not those in a hurry. The first few chapters were interesting, but mostly in the realm of things I had heard before. The message came across as: "Psst, some technologies developed for war are also useful in science and vice versa". Not exactly earth-shattering. The technologies are telescopes/optics, navigation aids and calendars, and development of technologies using the electromagnetic spectrum. It gives context to the discussion but isn't worth a book in and of itself. The second half of the book is much more eye-opening. From a detailed look at 20th century technology (the world wars) to present-day issues, it examines the space force we have, its tasks and background, and how the line between military and civilian work is very thin indeed. There are places where I can feel the authors pushing a thesis about how astrophysical work benefits civilization as a whole and national security in general. There is an aspect of addressing some scientists disdain of human space exploration (you can do so much more science on a lower budget with robots) and arguing that humans in space benefits science as a whole. There are warnings about the dangers, as yet unrealized but not unimaginable, of space-based warfare. There are reviews of the space programs of Russia and China, as well as our allies in Europe and elsewhere, and a case for collaboration in science leading to peace in politics. This book is roomy enough for several large messages. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of science (specifically physics) and will recommend this to my students. To borrow a phrase from another book from a few years ago, this could be called Astrophysics for Future Presidents. Or maybe So You Think You Can Space Force. There are a few faults. A few of the chapters get very weedy and lose the conversational tone that the book begins and ends with. He tries valiantly to separate astrophysicists and physicists, treating them as from entirely different fields with entirely different motivations and foci, and I have trouble buying that -- it comes off as a little strange. But it's a great read and I'll be recommending it for a long time. I got a copy to review from the publisher through Edelweiss.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ben Vogel

    More promising in the title than the content delivered. I heard Dr. Tyson talking about his book on Joe Rogan's podcast and decided to read the book. Unfortunately NdGT was more entertaining and informative in those 2 hours of interview than in this book, which focused more on geopolitics than it did on the connections between science, military, and astrophysics. More like an infield hit off the dirt than the double off the wall that I was hoping for.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Faisal X

    الفلكي المعروف بكتبه الجميلة وبساطة أسلوبه حتى يتسنى للشخص الغير المختص أن يستمتع بهذا العلم نقل لنا علاقة الفلكي بالحروب والالات الحربية بقصص واراء ونظريات وشرح هذه النظريات المساعدة في بناء الالة العسكرية وعلاقة علم الفلك والصناعة الفضائية بالحروب الحديثة بقصص يرويها عن نفسه وعن اصدقاء المجال نفسه في اجتماعاتهم ومدى تأثير هذه العلاقة على مستقبل أمريكا وأهمية العلم في بناء دولته

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brian Mikołajczyk

    "Space exploration may pull in the talent, but war pays the bills." -Neil deGrasse Tyson Tyson surveys the history of various inventions (e.g. telescope, missile, compass, GPS, etc.) and pens the story of how the military influenced the advent of them. The history is interesting. He opens the book with an anecdote about his personal career in which he found out some of his work would be used towards a military purpose wanting to quit the post, however upon historical reflection, he realized this "Space exploration may pull in the talent, but war pays the bills." -Neil deGrasse Tyson Tyson surveys the history of various inventions (e.g. telescope, missile, compass, GPS, etc.) and pens the story of how the military influenced the advent of them. The history is interesting. He opens the book with an anecdote about his personal career in which he found out some of his work would be used towards a military purpose wanting to quit the post, however upon historical reflection, he realized this has been happening all along. Something I would have liked to see is his opinion on how we can decouple the military-industrial complex rather than wholeheartedly supporting it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley W.

    it was a good book

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marvin

    TMI

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ginny

    This was one bad book. I actually hate to say that. I’ve seen Neil deGrasse Tyson so many times on television and found him so entertaining. He is the reason I even picked up this book. I saw him on Bill Maher as well as the Late Show with Stephen Colbert plugging this book. He described it as a weighty book from which we could learn the interconnection for good between science and military advancements. It sounded interesting. I have no idea what book Tyson was talking about, but it was not thi This was one bad book. I actually hate to say that. I’ve seen Neil deGrasse Tyson so many times on television and found him so entertaining. He is the reason I even picked up this book. I saw him on Bill Maher as well as the Late Show with Stephen Colbert plugging this book. He described it as a weighty book from which we could learn the interconnection for good between science and military advancements. It sounded interesting. I have no idea what book Tyson was talking about, but it was not this one. This book is a hodgepodge of gobbledygook. It’s a bunch of words signifying nothing – or next to nothing. There is definitely knowledge to be gained here, but it is mixed within paragraphs of filler. Certainly not enough knowledge gained from reading this book to justify the investment of time necessary to read it. What is it trying to be? It isn’t researched or organized well enough to be history. It isn’t well written enough to be enjoyable reading. I was also turned off from the book by the Introduction. This book was co-authored by a woman who works at the Hayden Planetarium. The conclusion of the Introduction references both Tyson and this woman and attributes them as the joint writers of the Intro, as well as the book. However the words of the introduction are all “I“ and are written in Tyson’s voice. He says at the end that where the word "I" is used we should not take that to ignore his co-author. And that she is part of every single word just as much as he is. However, even in the Introduction, Tyson refuses to let her say anything. It all seems so incredibly selfish. One can only guess how much of this book is actually written by this female author. Sure doesn’t get any personal voice in the book itself. Every experience that says "I" is Tyson. I’m starting to wonder if Tyson might just be one of those authors that just puts together books (or has someone else do it) in a slapdash manner to plug them on TV and make money.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Puma

    Most space exploration initiatives and atmospheric technology has been funded by military departments and budgets. Most of the motivation behind putting monitoring devices and people into space has been driven by the desire to show military prowess. These two realities are the main points made by Tyson's Accessory to War, but the book goes into tremendous detail as it explains the different discoveries and times during the development of the field of astrophysics. Technology that we do not neces Most space exploration initiatives and atmospheric technology has been funded by military departments and budgets. Most of the motivation behind putting monitoring devices and people into space has been driven by the desire to show military prowess. These two realities are the main points made by Tyson's Accessory to War, but the book goes into tremendous detail as it explains the different discoveries and times during the development of the field of astrophysics. Technology that we do not necessarily associate with astrophysics, such as the compass or the spyglass, have been extremely valuable to defense as well. Lenses that can be pointed up at the stars to learn more about them can also be put up into orbit to spy down on neighboring countries. Successful missions in space are tied to national pride in a fascinating way that other scientific endeavors are not. This is such an interesting topic, and Tyson communicates it so well. Be aware if you listen to the Audible audiobook, however, for Tyson himself only narrates the Prologue. I wish he had narrated the whole thing, but oh well, Vance does a pretty good job too. I would recommend this to ANYONE interested in astrophysics, the military, the space race, international cooperation, space exploration, rockets, missiles, military spending, the department of defense, astronauts, and power competitions between nations. An excellent reference for this topic; one that can be revisited again and again.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Socraticgadfly

    Once again, no apology from NDGT. As others know as well as me or better, for years, Tyson's been called out for a way in which he's NOT Carl Sagan, and that is for not calling out the links between scientists and the military-industrial complex more firmly. John Horgan, for example, first wrote about it nearly a full decade ago. And, Tyson, although he occasionally seems to halfway acknowledge the criticism in this book, otherwise does nothing about it. This is a very good book about the history of Once again, no apology from NDGT. As others know as well as me or better, for years, Tyson's been called out for a way in which he's NOT Carl Sagan, and that is for not calling out the links between scientists and the military-industrial complex more firmly. John Horgan, for example, first wrote about it nearly a full decade ago. And, Tyson, although he occasionally seems to halfway acknowledge the criticism in this book, otherwise does nothing about it. This is a very good book about the history of those aforementioned links in some ways. There's little critical thinking in here about the ethics, though. Of course, given that Tyson has trashed philosophy before, we maybe shouldn't be surprised. That said, maybe that's WHY he trashes philosophy ... a bit of CYA on ethics. And with that, because I know the history is good, but there wasn't much new to me, I bumped this down from 3 to 2 stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tnb

    This is a very painful book to read. It is unclear what the goal of the writing is. There are some interesting pieces of statistics to put the large numbers in perspective with one another, but this is just about all. Initially, I thought-ok, when he speaks and he is excited, he jumps from topic to topic- but then I thought-he cannot possibly be this gibberish for this length. It is very useful for the American public to understand where the large budget spends are and where the budget cuts happ This is a very painful book to read. It is unclear what the goal of the writing is. There are some interesting pieces of statistics to put the large numbers in perspective with one another, but this is just about all. Initially, I thought-ok, when he speaks and he is excited, he jumps from topic to topic- but then I thought-he cannot possibly be this gibberish for this length. It is very useful for the American public to understand where the large budget spends are and where the budget cuts happen - the two having no overlap, thus understanding that balancing the budget can be done in much smarter ways that will not deprive Americans of healthcare and education, and will most definitely not jeopardize the liberties people envision for themselves. What we should fear is fear itself

  21. 4 out of 5

    Am

    I waffled between a 3.5 and a 4 star for this book. I listened to the audiobook and I think there was a bit of disconnect for me. If I wasn't paying attention, I would loose what was happening BUT Neil deGrasse Tyson reads it and that kinda makes it worth it. I should have listened while I read. I do plan to revisit this when I have the time to do that. I am glad he included the history of the relationship between war and science. He is definitely critical of the current administration and their I waffled between a 3.5 and a 4 star for this book. I listened to the audiobook and I think there was a bit of disconnect for me. If I wasn't paying attention, I would loose what was happening BUT Neil deGrasse Tyson reads it and that kinda makes it worth it. I should have listened while I read. I do plan to revisit this when I have the time to do that. I am glad he included the history of the relationship between war and science. He is definitely critical of the current administration and their policy on science and space (which I don't disagree on). I do think there were things added in to the narrative that didn't need to be there.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scott Schneider

    Fascinating history of how the military has been the dominant force driving scientific research, particularly for astrophysics. The extent to which the military dominates is chilling. I was disappointed that at the end Degrasse Tyson didn't come out more forcefully for independence for scientists. He should be the poster child for Science for the People. But astrophysics is so expensive, without military support it would be crippled. A similar book should be written for biology, chemistry, medic Fascinating history of how the military has been the dominant force driving scientific research, particularly for astrophysics. The extent to which the military dominates is chilling. I was disappointed that at the end Degrasse Tyson didn't come out more forcefully for independence for scientists. He should be the poster child for Science for the People. But astrophysics is so expensive, without military support it would be crippled. A similar book should be written for biology, chemistry, medicine, etc. Yes, the spinoffs from military research have benefitted us all, but if that money was directly going to fund research for peaceful uses, it would be much more beneficial.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Kukwa

    There is something frustrating about the organization of this book. It's packed with excellent scholarship and research, and many of the sections I thoroughly enjoyed...but only in isolation. Together they simply don't seem to cohere comfortably: a history of scientific advances, a section on nuclear weapons history, and then a final section that features an attempt to tie everything together. It's a useful, productive read...but in the end, not as enjoyable and relaxing an experience as I thoug There is something frustrating about the organization of this book. It's packed with excellent scholarship and research, and many of the sections I thoroughly enjoyed...but only in isolation. Together they simply don't seem to cohere comfortably: a history of scientific advances, a section on nuclear weapons history, and then a final section that features an attempt to tie everything together. It's a useful, productive read...but in the end, not as enjoyable and relaxing an experience as I thought it would be.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Rivas

    All the history that relates to how the military inspired, helped, funded, and used astrophysicists is incredible. So much of the technology we use and the military uses is inspired and lots of the times financed by the army of a country. This book is full of historical facts of when astrophysics and the military have worked together to create new weapons or technology to give them an advantage over their enemy. I would have loved to have history classes in school like the history this book ment All the history that relates to how the military inspired, helped, funded, and used astrophysicists is incredible. So much of the technology we use and the military uses is inspired and lots of the times financed by the army of a country. This book is full of historical facts of when astrophysics and the military have worked together to create new weapons or technology to give them an advantage over their enemy. I would have loved to have history classes in school like the history this book mentions; maybe I would not have dropped out.

  25. 4 out of 5

    LeeAnn Heringer

    Normally I enjoy Neil deGrasse Tyson’s writing,but... the first chapter of this book was his mixed feelings about the second Iraqi war and how America had lost all competence at science and faded to a second or third world country. Boring. The second chapter was about how astronomy and astrology got all tangled up together. Boring. The third chapter was the almost, well, we’ll leave out a lot of stuff, history of the telescope. I never made it to chapter four. Very boring, uninteresting book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    False advertising. One of the major contribution of astrophysics to war was/is celestial navigation - no where discussed. And the first chapter in talking about budgets the author needs to read the constitution - ‘provide for the common defense and promote general welfare’ - not provide general welfare. In tact the writings of Jefferson and Madison were much opposed to open education. Finally, the entire defense establishment of funding for graduate research at universities seemed completely los False advertising. One of the major contribution of astrophysics to war was/is celestial navigation - no where discussed. And the first chapter in talking about budgets the author needs to read the constitution - ‘provide for the common defense and promote general welfare’ - not provide general welfare. In tact the writings of Jefferson and Madison were much opposed to open education. Finally, the entire defense establishment of funding for graduate research at universities seemed completely lost But for a ‘cliff note’ synopsis, I would have awarded one star

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ahdom

    A very interesting look at the history of science development in the field of astrophysics and how progress is intricately linked to wars. This book did have some slow bits that bogged down the book somewhere the middle, but was very interesting and enjoyable on the whole. As times change, one hopes that discovery for its own sake will propel sciences in the future or advancing mankind. This book was very digestible. I recommend to anyone who enjoys history and/or science.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Tyson is hard to read sometimes. He is sometimes very succinct, other times he's very drawn out. I glazed over a few times and had to re-read parts because I lost his point now and then. TL:DR Humans sure like to kill humans. There is a silver lining, technology that adds to quality of life and longevity.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sami

    After Prof. Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, this is my favourite book of 2018 so far. If you’ve liked Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, you will love this book! Packed with historical accounts, the narration makes connections to the modern day science in such a detailed and interesting way; it’s incredible!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Didn't get the chance to read the entire book just read bits and bobs and the odd chapter or two. Bit of a disappointment, because I thought this book would be about " Star Wars " and the future of military in space. One chapter was devoted to 15th century about finding the longitude ( in terms of navigating the oceans ) - what does this have to do with this book ???

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