Happy Birthday, Philosophical Breakfast Club!

One year ago today I was nervously waiting to see how The Philosophical Breakfast Club would fare once it was released into the world that day.  I have to admit that I wondered whether it would “fall stillborn from the press,” as David Hume said of his Treatise of Human Nature.  I couldn’t imagine how fortunate my book would be in finding its audience right away.  I am grateful for all the readers who took the time to write reviews for Amazon, Goodreads, and the other internet sites.  I also appreciate, very much, those who reviewed the book for newspapers, magazines, and journals.  It was incredibly gratifying to see the wonderful reaction to the book by people who read and review books for a living!

Some of my favorite lines from the published reviews: “Snyder writes with the depth of a scholar and the beauty of a novelist” (Science News); “The lives and ideas of these men come across as fit for Masterpiece Theatre” (Wall Street Journal); “A fascinating story, one told with considerable charm” (Washington Times); “The members of the Philosophical Breakfast Club left behind some lavish gifts.  This volume offers them up delightfully” (Economist);  “A natural successor to Jenny Uglow’s The Lunar Men and Richard Holmes’s The Age of Wonder” (Washington Post); “Snyder succeeds famously in evoking the excitement, variety, and wide-open sense of possibility of the scientific life in nineteenth-century Britain” (American Scientist).

Heartfelt thanks to my readers, reviewers, my wonderful editor Vanessa Mobley, my incredible agent Howard Morhaim, all my friends who celebrated the book’s launch with me at the Lotos Club last February 22nd, and my son Leo, who was so excited he did a special “book dance” when we first saw The Philosophical Breakfast Club on the New Non-Fiction table at the Barnes and Noble earlier that day.  It’s been quite a year!

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1 Response to “Happy Birthday, Philosophical Breakfast Club!”


  1. 1 Brasil April 10, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Babbage is best remembered for his ingenious invention that is considered to be an early version of our modern computers. Herschel, like his renowned father, William, was an astronomer who swept the skies with his powerful telescope. Jones focused on political economy, a controversial discipline in the nineteenth century. Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo had promulgated various theories and Jones took issue with a number of their conclusions. Whewell was a mathematician and an academic who wrote quite a few influential works.


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About the Author











Laura J. Snyder, Ph.D., is a science historian, philosopher and writer whose most recent book, The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends who Transformed Science and Changed the World, was an Official Selection of the TED Book Club, a Scientific American Notable Book, and winner of the 2011 Royal Institution of Australia Poll for Favorite Science Book. It was also named an "Outstanding Academic Title" in history of science and technology by the American Library Association. Snyder is Professor of Philosophy at St. John's University in New York City and writes frequently about science and ideas for The Wall Street Journal. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Life Member of Clare Hall College, Cambridge, and Past President of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.

 She is currently working on a book about how new optical technologies in the 17th century revolutionized not only science, but also art and the rest of culture. Follow Laura Snyder on Twitter and Facebook.

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