The book is a Featured Alternate for the History Book Club, Military Book Club, Scientific American Book Club, and Book-of-the-Month Club 2.
Adapted excerpt: George Washington, the First Vaxxer at The Daily Beast
Praise for Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries
“A fascinating and unique look at the familiar history of the founding of the United States through the hyperfocused lens of scientific advancement.” – Library Journal
“An intriguing survey of science’s influence on the Founders.” — Booklist
“Makes a strong case for the importance of science and technology in the creation of the United States …. A well-researched, lively entry into the current debate about the role of science in a democracy.” – Kirkus Reviews
In this lively history … Shachtman makes an ingenious and convincing case that “science-based thoughts and actions were critical to the nation’s birth and early health—far more so than were religious doctrine or economic considerations.” — Publishers Weekly
“We might hear as children about Ben Franklin with his kite and key in the thunderstorm, but this lively and learned book gives us the grown-up view of the Founders and their fascination with things scientific. Employing a large cast of colonial characters–Franklin, Washington, Jefferson and other famous figures of the era, but also lesser-known thinkers and tinkerers–Tom Shachtman makes a compelling case that the American Revolution became a movement not only for political independence, but for scientific independence as well. Indeed, Shachtman shows us that the two can hardly be considered separable.” –Greg Nobles, Professor of History, Georgia Institute of Technology, and co-author of Whose American Revolution Was It?
“This splendid book tells the eye-opening story of America’s founding generation as first-class scientists. We know how they created the government of the United States. Here we learn much more – and what a story it is!” –Lee Dembart, former science editor and science book reviewer, Los Angeles Times
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