22 June 2016
‘A magic carpet ride through the history of thought, viewed from such a height that unexpected patterns and correspondences emerge… Among the greatest compliments you can give a book is that it helps you to see things differently. So long as you’re not dazzled by the fireworks, Rethink could do just that.’ — Guardian
‘Clever and entertaining… thoughtful and thought-provoking… when it comes to describing a complex idea clearly, Poole is one of the best writers around.’ — Sunday Times
‘Entertaining and important… elegantly written and full of surprises.’ — Telegraph
‘Fascinating.’ — New Statesman
‘Always entertaining and often eye-opening… what Poole actually says is largely both true and interesting… That’s inspired rethinking.’ — FT
‘It’s a treasure trove for people who like to begin stories with “Did you know that…?”… a clever and entertaining book, which, if it does nothing else, will make me more fun at parties.’ — Times
Everyone likes innovation, but maybe our idea of it needs to be upgraded. Because very often innovation comes from reconsidering the failures of the past. Rethink is the story of how old ideas that were mocked or ignored for centuries are now storming back to the cutting edge of research. The book is about evolutionary biology, chess, consciousness, nukes, medicine, spycraft, cosmology, economics, and a lot more.
Rethink is out in the UK now; more details at Amazon. Meanwhile, here I am discussing it on the Guardian Science Weekly podcast. And here is an edited extract from the book on how the “marketplace of ideas” is infested with zombies.