The Drunkard’s Walk | Leonard Mlodinow

The Drunkard’s Walk is science writing at its best.

You start with someone who knows what their talking about. Mlodinow has a PhD in physics from the Berkeley and teaches at Caltech. If that’s not enough for you, he co-wrote A Briefer History of Time with Stephen Hawking.

The second element in good science writing is an interesting topic. Randomness fits the bill perfectly since it permeates every area of our lives. This allows Mlodinow to tell interesting stories about everything from Let’s Make A Deal to the track record of investment bankers.

This book is well structured, too. Rather than follow some text-book method of teaching, Mlodinow has organized the chapters around the history of this field of study. As you continue through the chapters, you encounter all the major theorists who have led the study of randomness.

The last element in a good science book is simply good writing. The quality of Mlodinow’s prose is excellent. Don’t expect flat technical writing here—he composes his sentences artfully.

This was the first book I’ve read by Mlodinow but it won’t be the last.

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