United States - William L. Martin, an author from Northern California, announces publication of his new non-fiction book, "Sum and Substance: Comprehending Yourself, Your Universe and Your World", which was released in November, 2022. The book presents a broad history of the universe and of mankind spanning almost 14 billion years. It is an entry into the genre of “Big History” pioneered by modern authors including Carl Sagan, David Christian, Stephen Hawking, and Noah Harari.
Martin states “My goal was to write a clear, complete and concise history in language understandable by anyone who will try. My hope is that if you spend eight hours reading this book, you may learn more than in any other eight hours of your life!”
The book is written from the perspective of assisting the reader in comprehending his place within the broad span of history, and coming to his own conclusions about the purpose and meaning of his own life. Martin says that “my intended audience is anyone who aspires to lifelong learning, ranging from college students just beginning to seniors looking to expand their knowledge. You don’t need a science education to follow every word.” The book is richly illustrated and features quotations from the ages to introduce each chapter. The tone is non-judgmental about what readers should believe, while embracing the scientific method as the foundation for fact-based learning.
Sum and Substance is organized in four parts. The first introduces the reader to himself and his place in the scheme of things and includes a summary timeline of all of history, beginning with the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago and concluding with the launch of the James Webb telescope last year. Second, the evolution of the universe and of life on Earth is described. Next, the history of mankind is summarized from the emergence as hunter/gatherers to the present population of 8 billion. Special note is taken of the roles of religion, warfare, technology, and the environment. The last section offers conjectures about the possible future of mankind and of the universe.
Early reviewers have been effusive in their praise of Sum and Substance. One calls it “a masterpiece, so compact and complete.” Another says that “the book is a treasure of knowledge and facts.” A third says that “it will be an inspiration to all who read it.”
Bill Martin brings six decades of technical and teaching experience to this work, including instructing in mathematics at the University of Southern California and developing a comprehensive model of the US health care system while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His lifelong hobby has been the study of science and of history. He has Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a Master’s in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
To learn more about the book and to see more reviews, visit Amazon here.
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