History of Science Made Interesting for the Average Joe
By Alex Boese
Thomas Dunne Books, $25.99, 343 pages
Electrified Sheep by Alex Boese is the third book in this genre that introduces some of the weirdest people in history: Individuals driven by some internal curiosity to go beyond the realm of normal, risk their families, livelihoods, and personal safety, all in the pursuit of knowledge. This collection of short stories humanizes the history of science and scientists. Each subject starts with a fictionalized accounting of what might have happened in the exact moment of discovery including the thoughts of the scientist as he or she realizes the importance of the accomplishment or that they have gone too far.
The most engaging part is the follow-up which is a full account of the life of the scientist or the activity of science at the time that lead up to the moment of discovery. Stories go beyond the realm of belief yet are written with the utmost respect for the scientific process, whether that process drives a man to adopt an ape or send an electric current through the most prized part of his anatomy. If ever a person has been curious about who the people were that thought up scientific advances, Electrified Sheep is a glimpse into that world.
Reviewed by Rachelle Barrett