Topics: Science, Theory, Age of Enlightenment Pages: 2 (606 words) Published: October 8, 2014
Ingi Mansour
Book Report

Patricia Fara’s book “An Entertainment for Angels” is an insightful read about the discovery of electricity and how it helped mold people’s ideas during the enlightenment period. Fara’s point of view on the progress of science is very evident throughout the book. Her main argument is that science wasn’t an easy mission. In fact, scientists usually struggled with the ‘hostility’ and ‘curiosity’ of the people at the time when presenting newly formed ideas (Fara 10). In addition, Fara goes against the simplified and rather smoothly written history concerning scientific discoveries explaining that usually only a few scientists were given the credit for what many other scientists also contributed to. She also tackles the fact that many stories about science are myths without evidence (Fara 11). Finally, Fara insists that besides the fact that scientists wanted progression, they also wanted financial gain and status (Fara 49). So all in all, the author wanted to show how complicated and lengthy the process of scientific progression was. To prove these points, Fara explains in great detail how electricity came about during the 18th century and how people of all backgrounds, including the scientists, responded to it. As a reader, the theme became clear to me halfway through the book. Scientists knew that electricity made controlling nature possible and that it could open up new possibilities to the world they lived in. As Priestley argued that ‘democratic teaching’ can elevate people from ignorance into educated individuals (Fara 22). That led to the promotion of reason and experiment against religious ideologies. For example, when Franklin came up with the rods to protect people from lightening, people in Europe would not use it because they felt that by using it they are going against the will of God (Fara 78). Fara’s style of writing provides great clarity to the reader as they go on from one chapter to the other in the...
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