A Briefer History of Time

Cover of A Briefer History of Time

Book Reviews

Can you summarize the history of the Universe in 100 words or less? Eric Schulman does in his Science/Humor Book, A Briefer History of Time. And for each of these very important words he has written something funny. Most of them manage to teach something about science or history, too. This is a good book to read in short bursts, when you a want a quick pick-me-up break from work...

--Altair (Full Review )

A Briefer History of Time is a hilarious romp through history and science. There’s a belly laugh on almost every page. I can’t recommend this book enough, it was delightful. Eric Schulman is brilliant and his take on the universe, science, politics, and religion are not to be missed.

 --DNA Publications

 From the Big Bang to the evolution of humans to the resignation of Richard Nixon and beyond, in the tradition of the Ig Nobel Prize, this is a highly irreverent and scientifically entertaining overview of some of the most important cosmic milestones since the beginning of time. From "Quantum Fluctuation," in which the Universe begins, to "Star Formation," in which the Sun forms, to "Civilization," in which many and sundry events occur, to "Extrapolation," in which future events are discussed.
--Mercury Magazine (March/April, 2000)

 In A Briefer History of Time (W.H. Freeman and Co.), Eric Schulman '90 puts a new spin on 53 important milestones of the last 15 billion years, from the birth of the world to the birth of the World Wide Web. Nothing's sacred in this irreverent, entertaining, and educational overview of time. From the Shakespearean account of the production of helium soon after the Big Bang to a Dragnet-style investigation into the rise and fall of Earth's first empire, Schulman makes academics not only accessible but also entertaining.
--UCLAlumni (November, 1999)

 A disciple of the Ig Nobel Prizes applies the irreverence of that event to the history of the universe. The first of 53 succinct chapters begins as any good story does, at 10^-43 seconds after the Big Bang with "Once upon a time, long ago . . . ." These passages lead, among other places, to Martha Stellar's Living (which is devoted to learning how to make a star) and dissection of multicellular organisms based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders.
--Science News (May 29, 1999)

 The often-voiced theory behind the tremendous success of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time was that it was bought more than read. In A Briefer History of Time: From the Big Bang to the Big Mac, astronomer Eric Schulman slaloms through the past with short takes on such things as the expansion of the universe (told in racetrack announcer style), the formation of helium and heavy hydrogen (told in a Shakespearean scene), and the extinction of the dinosaurs (told in a poem). In sum, says publisher W.H. Freeman of this February title, "a whiz-bang collection of the universe's greatest hits." Interestingly, the book grew out of Schulman's less than 200-word history of the universe, which was submitted to the Internet newsgroup rec.humor.funny, published in the Annals of Improbable Research and performed at the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard. (Not surprisingly, claims the publisher, "it was the hit of the show.")
--Publishers Weekly (August 10, 1998)


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