Book Review: Dr. Fred Watson's Stargazer
There are innumerable books on astronomy, many of them rehashing the same well known material we all have on our shelves. However, I find Dr. Watson's Stargazer to be quite original in content and nature. It is a winding chronological tale about the beginnings of the telescope and the challenges faced by its developers (such as Hans Lipperhey, whose original telescopic invention escaped him thanks to bureaucratic red tape and the politics of his era).
The writing style employed in the book entertains, educates and communicates to the reader, (who may or may not have astronomy as a hobby). Contributions of historical vignettes and tastes of touristic interest (including tidbits of contemporary information intertwined with political interests, sometimes scandals, of the day) envelope the reader's curiousity.
The author brings us particular insights into the lives of astronomers and scientists who have collectively brought us the telescope as we know it today. Also he adds a few snippets about not so well known, yet kooky characters in the field. The last chapter, the epilogue, brings his conclusions to a cosmological head, involving visions of a hyper telescope with endless possibilities.
Reviewer: Lydia Lousteaux