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The Dialogues by Clifford V. Johnson
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The Dialogues

Best Seller
The Dialogues by Clifford V. Johnson
Paperback $19.95
Oct 23, 2018 | ISBN 9780262536080

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  • $19.95

    Oct 23, 2018 | ISBN 9780262536080

    Buy from Other Retailers:

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Best Science Books of 2018! How do you discuss big, hair-hurting ideas in a user friendly way? Make a graphic novel about them. For me, the most original, creative and magical science book of 2017. Yes, it was last year’s book. But I didn’t read it until this year. And I cannot leave it out.—Ira Flatow, Science Friday

Readers of The Dialogues will likely appreciate Johnson’s unique approach to starting a conversation about physics with a broader audience, and they’ll admire his passion for the subject matter.

Physics Today

…does a fantastic job of explaining complex concepts in a way that’s not only easy to understand but also pleasant to follow. But what really sets it apart is the sheer quality of the writing. He effortlessly blends the natural, down-to-earth curiosity within us all with a patient knowledge that comes with decades of study.

ZME Science

There are a great many unsubtle ways to address diversity as an issue of social justice, from polemic proclamations to crude finger-pointing to passive complaint. All of them are, in my view, invariably inferior to what is perhaps the only effective approach: Simply enacting, without fuss and fanfare, a juster alternative. That is what Johnson — a black Englishman himself — accomplishes by populating his panels with characters of varied races, genders, and nationalities, who interpolate between the roles of explainer and explainee without any dominant pattern of authority.


Johnson explicity rejects the notion that some science is for uniquely talented abstract thinkers, arguing that the questions that theoretical physicists explore are not too complicated for the rest of us, and are relevant to all. And he proves it in his book: His characters are adults and kids who ponder how rice grains appear to multiply when cooked and how to calculate the number of jelly beans in a jar, and discuss the notion of a unified “theory of everything” and the meaning of life and death.


The Dialogues  illustrates how science can be a topic of everyday conversation for anyone.


Johnson’s new book… is a penetrating exploration of questions — that are both ancient and modern — about the nature of the universe. I found The Dialogues to be compelling, and the use of the graphic novel format only deepened that impression.16

Adam Frank, NPR

There is nothing new under the sun. And Johnson has merely revived an old method of presenting scientific ideas. As Nobel prizewinner Frank Wilczek points out in the foreword, scientists – most notably Galileo – presented their ideas in dialogue between debating characters on which readers could eavesdrop. And, given the chance, I bet that many of us would love the chance to quiz an Einstein down the pub. Since that is rarely, if at all, possible, The Dialogues is the next best thi17ng.

Times Higher Education

The author shows himself to be a highly talented graphic artist as well as being a distinguished theoretician.

The Spectator

Short list for Best Book of the Year 2018! This non-fiction graphic novel uses the teacher–pupil relationship as a format of discourse on complex topics in physics, ranging from inflation and relativity to the philosophy of science and discussions of experimentation and geometry. The artist and author is physicist Clifford Johnson and his book is The Dialogues. Over the course of 11 conversations, each intricately drawn and written by Johnson (who is a self-taught artist), you will meet a host of characters in a variety of locations, all of whom are attempting to better fathom the fundamental laws of our universe.


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