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The Pinball Effect: How Renaissance Water Gardens Made the Carburetor Possible—and Other Journeys Through Knowledge by James Burke, second edition

Overview   Process  

Task: to republish the book by James Burke.

This book invites you for a dizzying journey through the history of scientific and technical achievements. Using a vast number of examples, James Burke ties together seemingly unrelated things in the most astonishing manner showing how century-old discoveries lead to the modern light-bulb moments.

pinball effect 2014 cover
The book in dust jacket

From Versailles fountaines to carburetors, from spices to an atomic bomb, from shaving blades to quasar, the author spines a mesmerizing logical web of connections between objects, events, and mankind achievements. The present volume will be a perfect read for anyone interested in science.


Each of the twenty chapter-journeys in this book reveals a different aspect of how the web is constructed and how the extraordinary pinball proces of change occurs. Sometimes the simplest act will have cosmic repercussions a hundred years later. On other occasions, the most cataclysmic events will finally lead to ordinary, even humdrum results.

In every case, the journeys presented here follow unexpected paths, because that’s how life happens. We strike out on a course only to find it altered by the action of another person, somewhere else in space and time. As a result, the world in which we live today is the end-product of millions of these kinds of serendipitous interactions, happening over thousands of years." »

From introduction by J. Burke

Release date: February 10 2014


art director
cover designer
scientific editor

James Burke is a science historian, broadcaster, and television producer of science-oriented TV shows. His worldwide fame came after Connections and The Day the Universe Changed, his documentary series exploring the history of science and technological advancement as well as links between various inventions and discoveries.

460 pages
Number of copies: 3000
Format: 144×216 mm (5.7"×8.5“)
Hard cover
ISBN 978-5-98062-075-2

pinball effect 2014 title
Title page
pinball effect 2014 98 99
Pages 98–99
pinball effect 2014 108 109
Pages 108–109
pinball effect 2014 194 195
Pages 194–195
pinball effect 2014 228 229
Pages 228–229

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