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Books about James Clerk Maxwell

In 2008 the Royal Society of Edinburgh published a beautiful commemorative book: “Celebration of Achievements & Legacy of James Clerk Maxwell”,
ISBN: 978 09 02198 85 2  The book is available for online order from the Royal Society of Edinburgh

The Man Who Changed Everything: The Life of James Clerk Maxwell,  by Basil Mahon. John Wiley & Sons, 2004
ISBN: 978 04 70861 71 4
"..a sympathetic, eminently readable and interesting biography of one of the intellectual giants of the 19th century." IEE Review
"..beautifully clear and accessible ... This is an entertaining and gripping read .."  Good Book Guide
"...an absorbing account of Maxwell's life and work" Sunday Telegraph Review
"...provides the reader with the opportunity to understand Maxwell's contributions to modern science and technology." The Mathematical Gazette
"..Mahon does a good job of raising the profile of the greatest of all Scots Scientists…" Sunday Herald
"..Full of warmth and personal detail…an inspiring account of a man with legendary imagination.." Materials World

Brilliant Lives: The Clerk Maxwells and the Scottish Enlightenment, by John W. Arthur.  John Donald, 2016
ISBN: 978 19 06566 97 5
James Clerk Maxwell was the greatest physicist of the nineteenth century, and although his scientific contribution is now acknowledged to be on a level with those of Newton and Einstein, he has generally not received the acclaim that he deserves. This book goes beyond the life of the man himself to explore five generations of his family and those with whom they were connected, predominantly middleranking lowland Scots who were interlinked through marriage. At the centre are the Clerks of Penicuik and the Maxwells of Middlebie. These dynastic families and their connections produced several astonishing characters whose stories shed light on the development of Scotland from the political and religious aftermath of the Reformation, through the age of Enlightenment, and into the glory days of the nineteenth century. The Scottish Enlightenment was fuelled by the actions and ideas of several brilliant individuals, many of whom were either among James Clerk Maxwell’s direct forebears or within their circle of connections. Their brightest scion was without doubt James himself, but many of the others also made their own distinct impression on Scotland and the wider world.

Einstein's Heroes: Imagining the World Through the Language of Mathematics,  by Robyn Arianrhod. Icon Books Ltd, 2004
SBN: 978 18 40466 10 2
"Einstein had pictures of three people on his wall - Maxwell, Faraday and Newton, and it is these heroes that are at the centre of the book. Maxwell is the key figure” Popular Science
"Excellent exploration of the move of maths to centre stage in physics, mostly focussing on the life and work of James Clerk Maxwell." Popular Science
 "Language, as Robyn Arianrhod points out, profoundly affects what we see in the world. And, because the language of nature appears to be mathematics, we are pretty much blind if we don't know that language. In Einstein's Heroes, Arianrhod drives home her point with the example of James Clerk Maxwell... This is a delightful book full of anecdote and historical colour." New Scientist
 "The book reads like a good novel, so much so that the closing lines of the last chapter (four equations and seven words) moved me to tears. Sydney Morning Herald

Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field: How two men revolutionized physics, by Nancy Forbes and Basil Mahon.  Prometheus Books, 2014
ISBN: 978 16 16149 42 0
“Compelling. …A lively account of the men and their times and a brilliant exposition of the scientific circumstances and significance of their work.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Blends science history and lively biography. …Accessible writing and a feel for character make this an interesting look at two scientists whose work defined an era and set the course for modern physics.” Publishers Weekly 
“The unification of electric and magnetic phenomena in terms of fields was born out of Faraday’s physical vision and Maxwell’s mathematical genius. The life and science of these two giants of nineteenth-century physics is beautifully documented and narrated in this riveting book.” Eric D’Hoker, Distinguished Professor of Physics, UCLA; past president, Aspen Center for Physics

James Clerk Maxwell: Perspectives on his life and work, edited by Raymond Flood, Mark McCartney and Andrew Whitaker. Oxford University Press, 2014
ISBN: 978 19 96664 37 5
“..This selection of highly detailed essays from academic physicists, mathematicians and historians of science seeks to do justice to Maxwell from many perspectives, looking at his life, his science, his mathematical abilities, his poetry and his religious faith.”
“..If you have a deep interest in Maxwell or the history of physics and are at home with a slightly formal academic prose style, you will enjoy these essays.”
Engineering and Technology Magazine

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