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Download Napoleon’s Buttons: 17 Molecules That Changed History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Napoleon’s Buttons: 17 Molecules That Changed History Audiobook, by Penny Le Couteur Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.14 out of 54.14 out of 54.14 out of 54.14 out of 54.14 out of 5 4.14 (22 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Penny Le Couteur, Jay Burreson Narrator: Laural Merlington Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781452674599
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Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts. With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The authors diagram the formula and shape of each, from the polymer behind the sheen in silk to the ionic bonds in the taste of salt. Well-conceived, well-done popular science.”

    Booklist

  • Well-conceived, well-done popular science. Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy | 2/19/2014

    " A book of pure chemistry. I suggest not trying to read this book like a novel. instead, skip back and forth throughout the book to find the gist of each chapter. :) good luck throughly reading this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyra | 2/16/2014

    " amazing - a book on chemistry that is easy to read and very entertaining - who knew? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Olivia | 2/8/2014

    " This book was enjoyable to read through for both my husband and me. It's an easy read and fun for later conversation pieces. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heidi Hester | 1/24/2014

    " An excellent book. History linked to chemistry... amazing!! I have so many ideas on how to use this in my classroom!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Muhammad al-Khwarizmi | 1/24/2014

    " Pretty damn decent account of the role of chemistry in various historical events and eras. Written by two chemists; doesn't butcher any of the science, only simplifies. Sweeping claims about the role of any given substance in a particular event are avoided unless really warranted. Slight political tilt in writing (mainstream left-wing) but nothing too overbearing or questionable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jesse Yoder | 1/23/2014

    " This book is perfect for any history/science buffs in your life. I don't think you need to be a chemistry major to enjoy this book, but an interest in science would certainly help. The history here is fascinating, and the scientific connections are well explained with Penny's great diagrams. I'll keep this one on my bookshelf for some quality re-reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron | 1/11/2014

    " This book is an interesting take on the impact science has had on history. It covers things that are rarely if ever mentioned in your normal history classes and for the nerd there's plenty of chemistry and science to keep you occupied. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 1/7/2014

    " Truly brilliant analysis of the importance of organic chemicals to everyday life. Accessible but the first half goes by much more quickly than the second. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Andrews | 12/31/2013

    " Very interesting. History from a very different perspective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 12/30/2013

    " Fantastic overview from both a historical and scientific perspective "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neesha | 12/11/2013

    " Excellent book-I'm not a nonfiction reader but I found the material for this one quite interesting. There's a lot of science but the historical background intermingled with organic chemistry is a good blend for anyone who likes those subjects. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nina | 11/23/2013

    " Interesting read, especially if you like chemistry. Story and diagrams of the formulas. Yea. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 9/27/2013

    " Fascinating and fast-paced. An especially good read for those who like trivia or flashbacks to grade 12 science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Salim Aliaga | 8/12/2013

    " fun fast informative a great read even better if you love organic chemistry but not necessarily a book only for chemists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Killilea | 8/3/2013

    " really amazing to see how a handful of simple chemicals were a driving force in so much history. i picked this up for the science, and it made me interested in learning more history, which was not a trait that i thought was in my genome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Beth | 7/8/2013

    " Fully accessible to the scientist and layman alike, and a fascinating history of very important molecules. Thoughts from this book pop to my mind very frequently when I come across these substances day to day :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tajy George | 3/25/2013

    " A fun combination of chemistry and history. You need to know basic chem to understand some of the stuff, but the authors do a good job of explaining what you need to know. It's a new way of exploring how science impacts history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 3/14/2013

    " I really enjoyed this. Very approachable explanation of simple chemistry -- great synthesis of science and history. Highly recommended! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thorn | 2/25/2013

    " a fun read about objects and substances. recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Spillman | 12/17/2012

    " Amazingly well-told history of how man's search for chemicals had such a great impact on the world. From table salt to gold, this book offers unique insights on the importance of chemicals in shaping cultures and countries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 4/22/2012

    " A lot of really interesting information, but the authors could have done a better job of combining the stories and the science. As it currently reads, the sections are a bit choppy. Still a fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adalberto Solito | 12/17/2011

    " Read it in a bookstore. Didn't finish it, but the idea behind this book is a stroke of genius. "

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About the Author

Penny Le Couteur, PhD, has taught chemistry at Capilano College in British Columbia, Canada, for more than thirty years. She is also a past winner of the Polysar Award for outstanding chemistry teaching in Canadian colleges.

About the Narrator

Laural Merlington is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator with over two hundred titles to her credit. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks. She teaches college in her home state of Michigan.