Isaac Newton

Pantheon, 2003

Isaac Newton was born in a stone farmhouse in 1642, fatherless and unwanted by his mother. When he died in London in 1727 he was so renowned he was given a state funeral—an unheard-of honor for a subject whose achievements were in the realm of the intellect. During the years he was an irascible presence at Trinity College, Cambridge, Newton imagined properties of nature and gave them names—massgravityvelocity—things our science now takes for granted. Newton grasped the intangible and dared to take its measure.


James Gleick brings the reader into Newton’s reclusive life and provides startlingly clear explanations of the concepts that changed forever our perception of bodies, rest, and motion—ideas so basic to the twenty-first century, it can truly be said: We are all Newtonians.

“Isaac Newton is an elegantly written, insightful work that brings Newton to life and does him justice. Its brevity, which may or may not have been premeditated, seems to have resulted from a rare and relentless insistence on saying solely what can be said confidently and afresh…. Gleick proves to be not only a sound explicator of Newton’s science but also a capable literary stylist, whose understated empathy with his subject lets us almost see through Newton’s eyes.” Timothy Ferris, The Los Angeles Times
“For my money this is Gleick’s best book, and without question the finest short life of science’s most perplexing figure.” Graham Farmelo
“His admirable new biography is perhaps the most accessible to date. He is an elegant writer, brisk without being shallow, excellent on the essence of the work, and revealing in his account of Newton’s dealings with the times and with the men — admiring, dubious, downright hostile — with whom he condescended to interact.” Vincent Boland
“James Gleick, I am pleased to say, makes the most of his extraordinary material, providing us with a deftly crafted vision of the great mathematician as a creator, and victim, of his age. (…) The result is a book that is a perfect antidote to the many vast, bloated scientific biographies that currently flood the market — and also acts a superb starting point for anyone interested in the life of one of the world’s few, undisputed geniuses.” Robin McKie, The Observer


Find me in the open social web (fediverse; Mastodon):

Literary agent:
Michael Carlisle
at Inkwell Management,
521 Fifth Ave.,
New York 10175.

Or send a private message.