Humanities Research Annotated Bibliography

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Ethan Young


Beyond the Books: Frenchmen Putting Knowledge Into PracticeAnnotated BibliographyEthan Young

Secondary Sources

Davis, Kenneth S.. The Cautionary Scientists: Priestley, Lavoisier, and the Founding of Modern Chemistry. New York: G. P. Putnams Sons, 1966. Print.

This duel biography discusses the lives of Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier. While Priestleys contributions to the field of chemistry are remarkable, he was excluded from this study so as to limit the scope to solely Frenchmen. This biography was helpful in achieving an accurate perception of Lavoisier, not exclusively as a scientist, but as a man. Among other notes, the primary aspect of his character learned from this work is his indefatigable perseverance and commitment to experimentation.

Einsteins Big Idea. Dir. Gary Johnstone. PBS, 2005. Film.

This narrative documentary discusses at large the background to Einsteins equation E=mc2. Obviously, one of the central tenants necessary for such a philosophy is the conservation of matter, an idea articulated by Lavoisier. This video excerpt shows accurate period laboratory equipment while personifying the chemist himself in likely precision: brilliant with a side of arrogance. The experiment shown is demonstrating the law of conservation by boiling water, which causes some water to escape of oxygen and hydrogen gases. These gases are collected in a separate container. Then Lavoisier added the moles of gas collected with the moles of water condensed in the coals and found it equaled the moles of water lost. Thus, matter is not created or destroyed, just modified.

Gillespie, Charles Coulston. Science and Polity in France: The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Years. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004. Print.

In an insightful and passionate manner, Gillespie examines two different but interconnected aspects of French history. His thesis essentially suggests that the Revolution is directly responsible for the scientific and political developments of the period. Gillespie also discusses the significance of French contributions to science at large. For this research, the authors assertions set forth in the Introduction were largely guiding principles that shaped the direction of study and the thesis statement.

Goddard, Jolyon, ed. Concise History of Science and Invention. Washington: The National Geographic Society, 2010. Print.

In this expansive volume, events in science are organized by geographic categories and the fields for which the discoveries were significant. For this research, the European developments in the areas of health and physical sciences were pertinent. The timeline provides a broad image of the entire scientific community for a particular period of time. This information aided some timelines used in this project, and also provided insights as to the most significant contributors that are important to highlight (i.e., Lavoisier).

Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Touchstone, 1991. Print.

In this general timeline of history, Grun arranges events and people by categories. This timeline was extremely helpful in creating a context for this research, not only within other scientific advances, but also political events around the world. Some of these events were used in the interactive timeline and others were incorporated into website copy.

Les Miserables. Dir. Tom Hooper. Perf. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway. Universal Pictures, 2012. Film.

This film narrates the classic novel by Victor Hugo telling the tale of Jean Val jean, an ex-convict living during the early nineteenth century. The excerpt used in this project is a brief musical performance entitled Do You Hear the People Sing? The performance captures both musically and graphically the tension of the French Revolution and the uprising of the Third Estate against the powers of the crown. While Hugos plot and this scene actually commence sometime after 1815 (thus after the French Revolution), the scenario in which we find the characters is very similar to that of original revolution and helps the researcher and viewer understand the emotions of the period.

Jacob, Margaret C.. The Scientific Revolution: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford, 2010. Print.

This text was essential in understanding the context of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment ideals that carried into the Chemical Revolution. The book follows landmark discoveries chronologically while incorporating primary source images and documents. While the Scientific Revolution is considered to have ended around 1750, its motivations and results were almost identical to those of the Chemical Revolution.

Jaffe, Bernard. Crucibles: The Story of Chemistry. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1976. Print.

In this engaging work of non-fiction storytelling, Jaffe uses the stories of specific chemists to shape the story of the field at large. The authors insights concerning Antoine Lavoisier were of particular merit in this research. The text provides anecdotes and personal details in addition to historical accomplishments that allow for a more holistic treatment of a subject.

Manceron, Claude. Their Gracious Pleasure: 1782-1785. New York: Touchstone, 1980. Print.

Transcending specific events or people, this cultural history gives the reader a clear interpretation of the mindset of the French people in the time period discussed in this project. The title communicates the idea well: the French maintained a sort of reserved formality and hesitance despite the fervor of revolution. One discussed example is that of the rise of hot air balloons (no pun intended) and the fanfare associated with public launch events. Even in the absence of a monarchy, there remained a formal society of aristocrats that give the feel of royalty. This characterization is critical since it reflects many scientists of the day, particularly Antoine Lavoisier.

Morris, Richard. The Last Sorcerers: The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table. Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press, 2003. Print.

Dr. Richard Morris, a member of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, writes a narrative of the people that transitioned alchemy into modern applied chemistry. His book follows individuals anecdotally and biographically to provide cultural, religious, and personal details in addition to landmark events or discoveries. This type of holistic review illustrates the less scientific aspects in a story as mystical as it is factual. The information leading up to the Chemical Revolution was relevant to this study, although the book extends to modern day alchemy.

Pasteurization. Time Out. The History Channel. HIST, Knoxville. 22 Oct. 2013. Television.

This brief commercial break clip produced by the History Channel explains Pasteurs experiments on fermentation in a simple manner. It also includes a segment on the impacts of pasteurization on American dairy production and disease mitigation. The excerpt used for this research is the anecdotal portion about Pasteurs original experiment.

Price, Roger. A Concise History of France. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Print.

This brief history analyzes the country of France from the early middle ages to the Glorious 30s after World War II. The author discusses not exclusively recorded events and movements, but also the relationship between state and society, impacts of war, and political power. There is also a focus on many influential Frenchmen, typically including quotes and images.

"The Philosophers Stone." The True Story. Nar. David Harewood. Prod. Simon Berthon. History United Kingdom, 2007. DVD.

This video excerpt comes from a History channel documentary series. This video, in sometimes dramatic television fashion, analyzes several historical accounts of the Philosophers Stone and many alchemists pursuit of it. The documentary also includes interviews with authors and historians that provide various insights. The excerpt used for this website begins at 4:00:00 and ends at 5:00:00.

The Next Time You. Ethan Young. Self-produced, 2013. Film.

This brief clip featured on the scientific impacts page attempts to broaden the impact of the very specific research discussed throughout the project. By showing brief everyday activities and linking them all to the French contributions, I hoped to provide an impactful takeaway from this study. Bandages are directly related to the concept of medical sanitation set forth by Pasteurs germ theory. Milk is pasteurized on a daily basis to prevent spoiling. Car engines rely on precise, chemically stable fuel that could not be understood or developed without chemical nomenclature. Online research is a testament to both modern technology and researchers collaborative spirit, a concept fueled by Lavoisier. In these examples, and many others, we owe some part of our modern experience to Frenchmen. (The song used in the clip is entitled Midnight City by M83)

Thorne, J. O., T. O. Collocott, ed. Chambers Biographical Dictionary. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1984. Print.

This overview text provides detailed information about thousands of individuals. I used this reference to form a timeline of biographies, as well as note concise records of significant achievements of French scientists.

Waller, John. The Discovery of the Germ. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.

Waller analyzes the multifaceted historical steps taken to reach the modern germ theory that revolutionized medicine. The realization of contamination and communicable microbial disease is one that changed surgery, general practice, and laboratory research entirely. A central character in this tale was Louis Paste