Book cover
The First Three Minutes
A modern view of the origin of the universe
Steven Weinberg

This book was published in 1977 and revised in 1993, so it is definitely a little dated. But the period of time it covers was well understood at the time, so the information is still accurate.

I enjoyed every page. For me it strikes the right balance: not too technical that I can’t keep up, and not so basic that I feel talked down to. And unlike so many slightly-more-in-depth science books, it is very well written.

I loved this passage, after talking about a series of miscommunications, mis-interpretations, and missed opportunities along the way to understanding the early universe.

I have dwelt on this missed opportunity because this seems to me to be the most illuminating sort of history of science. It is understandable that so much of the historiography of science deals with its successes, with serendipitous discoveries, brilliant deductions, or the great magical leaps of a Newton or an Einstein. But I do not think it is possible really to understand the successes of science without understanding how hard it is—how easy it is to be led astray, how difficult it is to know at any time what is the next thing to be done.