Red Giants and White Dwarfs by Robert Jastlow
Published by: Signet Books, The New American Library, Copywrited 1967, 1969, first printing June 1969
Review Date: 3/16/2017
So this is a… fifty year old science book? It’s not a work of fiction, that’s for certain, and it covers scientific topics and details I missed, somewhere in my schooling, assuming that it was in my schooling at all. Although it does manage to break it down into words I can understand, since the topics are quite often somewhat beyond me. I didn’t do well in science class. Which doesn’t mean a lot to a bunch of people, but being able to understand the science as Jastlow writes it, despite it being a little outdated by modern design, is still a huge accomplishment for me. So he did well just on that venue alone.
However, I’m not sure any of the science is wrong. It is science we’re talking about, after all. Nothing he mentions in the book feels anything less than established fact, except where he points out that he’s mentioning theories. And even admitting the potential for being wrong is a huge step in the right direction. I’ll have to do some research one day to see if any of the mentioned theories panned out one way or another. Even though, as it’s a book about how the solar system was made to how human beings came into existence, and we haven’t had a lot of breakthroughs in those factions of science, it’s probably not far off the mark even today.
If you enjoy old science books, or you like seeing how people viewed the world fifty years ago, or you just really, really want to see how a well put-together science text should be, I highly recommend this one. (Bonus! It’ll also help you decide how to make a magical textbook, too.)
Jastlow does good work. I should check to see if there’s anything else he’s done. I’m awfully curious.