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Napoleon's Buttons.pdf

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Ophelia Quarry

Dec 10, 2023, 7:12:03 AM12/10/23
Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History
Napoleon's Buttons is a book by Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson that explores the role of chemistry in shaping world history. The book takes its name from the idea that Napoleon's army suffered from a lack of buttons in the Russian winter of 1812, because they were made of tin, which turns brittle in low temperatures. The book examines 17 different molecules or groups of molecules, such as spices, silk, nitroglycerin, and DNA, and explains how they influenced the course of events in various fields such as exploration, trade, war, medicine, art, and science.

Napoleon's Buttons.pdf


The book is divided into 17 chapters, each focusing on a different molecule or group of molecules. Each chapter begins with a historical anecdote that illustrates the importance of the molecule in question, followed by a scientific explanation of its structure, properties, and reactions. The book also provides historical and cultural context for each molecule, showing how it affected human society and civilization. The book aims to show how chemistry is not only a scientific discipline, but also a powerful force that shapes history.

Napoleon's Buttons is a captivating and informative book that reveals how chemistry has shaped history in unexpected and surprising ways. The book is written in a clear and engaging style, with plenty of illustrations and diagrams to help the reader understand the chemical concepts. The book is also full of fascinating facts and anecdotes that make the history come alive. The book is suitable for anyone who is interested in chemistry, history, or both, and does not require any prior knowledge of either subject.

The book has received positive reviews from critics and readers alike, who praise its originality, breadth, and accessibility. Kirkus Reviews calls it "an entertainingly educational exploration of the chemistry of everyday life" and "a delightful way to learn some serious science". The book has also been nominated for several awards, such as the Royal Society Prize for Science Books and the Canadian Science Writers' Association Book Award.

Napoleon's Buttons is a book that will appeal to anyone who enjoys learning about the connections between science and history. The book shows how chemistry is not only a fascinating subject in itself, but also a key factor that has influenced the course of human events. The book is a great example of how science can be fun, relevant, and enlightening.

The authors of Napoleon's Buttons are Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson, both chemists and educators. Le Couteur is a professor of chemistry at Capilano University in Canada, and Burreson is a former industrial chemist and current science writer. They met at a conference in 1998 and decided to collaborate on a book that would combine their interests in chemistry and history.

Writing this book was not an easy task, as the authors had to do extensive research on both the chemical and historical aspects of each molecule. They also had to balance the scientific accuracy with the readability of the book, and avoid using too much jargon or technical details. They wanted to make the book accessible to a wide audience, without compromising the quality of the information.

The result is a book that is both informative and entertaining, that will inspire curiosity and appreciation for chemistry and its role in history. Napoleon's Buttons is a book that will make you look at the world differently, and discover the hidden stories behind the molecules that surround us.


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