Science in History: Volume 4

J. D. Bernal
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ISBN 9780571276875 Format Paperback
Published 17/03/2011 Length 356 pages

About Book

J. D. Bernal's monumental work, Science in History, was the first full attempt to analyse the reciprocal relations of science and society throughout history, from the perfection of the flint hand-axe to the hydrogen bomb. In this remarkable study he illustrates the impetus given to (and the limitations placed upon) discovery and invention by pastoral, agricultural, feudal, capitalist, and socialist systems, and conversely the ways in which science has altered economic, social, and political beliefs and practices.

This fourth and final volume discusses the social sciences, from early rituals and myths, through ancient and medieval conceptualisation of society, and finally on to Marxism, economics, anthropology, and these sciences' impact on twentieth-century perspectives.

'This stupendous work ... is a magnificent synoptic view of the rise of science and its impact on society which leaves the reader awe-struck by Professor Bernal's encyclopaedic knowledge and historical sweep.' Times Literary Supplement

  • About J. D. Bernal

    J. D. Bernal (1901-1971) lived up to his soubriquet 'The Sage'. He was a polymath, a visionary and brilliant scientist, a pacifist and fervent Marxist. During the Second World War he was a pioneer of Operational Research and made the first objective analyses of bombing on cities. He also played a crucial role in planning the D-Day landings. After the war, he became an international ambassador for Marxism, science and peace, and was one of the few men familiar with Downing Street, the White House and the Kremlin. C. P. Snow said of him, 'Bernal is, quite obviously and with no fuss about it, a great man.'

    Faber Finds are reissuing his The Social Function of Science and the illustrated four volume edition of his Science in History.

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