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May 18, 2011

Show 727  Michael Medved talks to the authors of two books The Genesis of Science and the book- The Road to Fatima Gate.

  

Segment 1- The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution by James Hannam

 

Synopsis of the book-  Maybe the Dark Ages Weren’t So Dark Afterall…

 

Here are some facts you probably didn’t learn in school:

People in the Middle Ages did not think the world was flat—in fact, medieval scholars could prove it wasn’t The Inquisition never executed anyone because of their scientific ideas or discoveries (actually, the Church was the chief sponsor of scientific research and several popes were celebrated for their knowledge of the subject)

It was medieval scientific discoveries, methods, and principles that made possible western civilization’s “Scientific Revolution”

 

If you were taught that the Middle Ages were a time of intellectual stagnation, superstition, and ignorance, you were taught a myth that has been utterly refuted by modern scholarship.

 

As a physicist and historian of science James Hannam shows in his brilliant new book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, without the scholarship of the “barbaric” Middle Ages, modern science simply would not exist.

 

The Middle Ages were a time of one intellectual triumph after another. As Dr. Hannam writes, “The people of medieval Europe invented spectacles, the mechanical clock, the windmill, and the blast furnace by themselves. Lenses and cameras, almost all kinds of machinery, and the industrial revolution itself all owe their origins to the forgotten inventors of the Middle Ages.”

 

In The Genesis of Science you will discover

 

Why the scientific accomplishments of the Middle Ages far surpassed those of the classical world How medieval craftsmen and scientists not only made discoveries of their own, but seized upon Eastern inventions—printing, gunpowder, and the compass—and improved them beyond the dreams of their originators How Galileo’s notorious trial before the Inquisition was about politics, not science Why the theology of the Catholic Church, far from being an impediment, led directly to the development of modern science

 

Provocative, engaging, and a terrific read, James Hannam’s Genesis of Science will change the way you think about our past—and our future.

 

 Biography-  JAMES HANNAM is a graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge where he studied physics and then gained a Ph.D. in the history of science. He lives in England with his wife and two children.

 

Segment 2-  The Road to Fatima Gate: The Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah, and the Iranian War Against Israel by Michael J. Totten

 

Synopsis-  The Road to Fatima Gate is a first-person narrative account of revolution, terrorism, and war during history's violent return to Lebanon after fifteen years of quiet. Michael J. Totten's version of events in one of the most volatile countries in the world's most volatile region is one part war correspondence, one part memoir, and one part road movie.

 

He sets up camp in a tent city built in downtown Beirut by anti-Syrian dissidents, is bullied and menaced by Hezbollah's supposedly friendly "media relations" department, crouches under fire on the Lebanese-Israeli border during the six-week war in 2006, witnesses an Israeli ground invasion from behind a line of Merkava tanks, sneaks into Hezbollah's post-war rubblescape without authorization, and is attacked in Beirut by militiamen who enforce obedience to the "resistance" at the point of a gun.

 

From the "Cedar Revolution" that ousted the occupying Syrian military regime in 2005, to the devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, and to Hezbollah's slow-motion but violent assault on Lebanon's elected government and capital, Totten's account is both personal and comprehensive. He simplifies the bewildering complexity of the Middle East, has access to major regional players as well as to the man on the street, and personally witnesses most of the events he describes. The Road to Fatima Gate should be indispensable reading for anyone interested in the Middle East, Iran's expansionist foreign policy, the Arab-Israeli conflict, asymmetric warfare, and terrorism in the aftermath of September 11.

  

Biography- Michael J. Totten is a foreign correspondent and foreign policy analyst who has reported from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, City Journal, LA Weekly, The Jerusalem Post, Beirut's Daily Star, Reason Magazine, Azure Magazine, and the Australian edition of Newsweek. He writes regularly for Commentary. He lives with his wife and two cats in Portland, Oregon, and is a former resident of Beirut. Visit his Web site at MichaelTotten.com.

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