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Harlow Shapley’s “Of Stars and Men”

Cover of "Of Stars and Men"

Cover of “Of Stars and Men”

About Of Stars and Men, from the Publisher

With wit and lucidity Harlow Shapley asserts that man is not the center of the universe, nor, in all likelihood, is man alone. Dr. Shapley’s ingenious speculations about the cosmos blend with the imaginative color illustrations of Richard C. Bartlett to produce the “cosmic poetry” of Of Star and Men. The author explains how we on earth move in the outer part of the galaxy which in turn is only one among billions of star-rich galaxies; that there are a hundred million planets capable of supporting highly developed forms of life. Some predictions about the “cosmic” future are made, after a review of the history of the past. Dr. Shapley’s authoritative theories challenge many present-day earthbound postulates in science, religion, and philosophy.

About the Author

Internationally known as an astronomer-scholar, Dr. Shapley was from 1914 to 1921 at the Mount Wilson Observatory in California, becoming the Director of the Harvard Observatory in 1922. He remained as Director there until 1952. In 1956 he became Professor Emeritus and lectured at colleges and universities across the nation. He served as president of eight national scientific organizations. In recognition of his notable research in photometry, spectography, and cosmogony, Dr. Shapley received honorary degrees from more than fifteen universities throughout the world, and received honorary membership in the national academies of ten countries.

 About the Illustrator

The inspired illustrations which enhance this edition are a graphic display of comets, stars, starlight, and star formations – in addition to a sensitive visual suggestion of what the author calls “the rules of the cosmic game.” The artist, Richard C. Bartlett, is represented in the collections of the Fogg Museum at Harvard; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Wiggins Collection, Boston Public Library; Library of Congress; National Museum in Israel; and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.


Copyright © 1958 by Harlow Shapley
Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press, Boston
First reproduced online by Harvard Square Library in 2009

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Categories: Religion & Culture

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