‘There is no author whose books I look forward to more’ Bill Gates
The New York Times bestselling author returns with a mind-opening exploration of how size defines life on Earth.
Explaining the key processes shaping size in nature, society and technology, Smil busts myths around proportions – from bodies to paintings and the so-called golden ratio – tells us what Jonathan Swift got wrong in Gulliver’s Travels – the giant Brobdingnagian’s legs would buckle under their enormous weight – and dives headfirst into the most contentious issue in ergonomics: the size of aeroplane seats.
It is no exaggeration to say this fascinating and wide-ranging tour de force will change the way you look at absolutely everything.
‘Vaclav Smil is a phenomenon with an appetite for facts over prejudice and fashion. Essential reading for anyone who cares about the future’ Lord Norman Foster
An endlessly entertaining career through fascinating territory -- Simon Ings * Daily Telegraph * In a world of specialized intellectuals, Smil is an ambitious and astonishing polymath who swings for fences . . . They're among the most data-heavy books you'll find, with a remarkable way of framing basic facts * Wired * There is perhaps no other academic who paints pictures with numbers like Smil * Guardian *
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