According to the author, Huygens, The Man Behind the Principle is the first complete biography of the famed physicist and mathematician that includes his development and background. This is a surprising claim considering the wide-reaching contributions to the sciences that were made by Huygens.
Huygens looks to be a very diligently referenced work. The book is a thoroughly footnoted and cross-referenced chronicle of the life and background of the physicist. The research behind the book seems thorough, with plentiful footnotes on each page. The Bibliography and "Further Reading" sections span almost thirty pages.
This diligence, however, limits the audience for the book; it is not an easy read. The tone is formal enough to make casual reading a chore. The mathematician or physicist looking for a discussion of Huygens' contributions will also be disappointed as the mathematical content is limited to just a few pages spread through the volume.
Overall, Huygens, The Man Behind the Principle will likely be an excellent reference for the historian. Anyone else without a specific interest in Huygens will have a hard time with it.
Steven Frankel is an undergraduate Engineering student at The Cooper Union in New York, NY. His primary interests lie on the line between Electrical Engineering and Mathematics, including Signal Processing and Control Systems. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Family portrait