Accessory to War by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Accessory to War

In this fascinating foray into the centuries-old relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer-researcher Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. "The overlap is strong, and the knowledge flows in both directions," say the authors, because astrophysicists and military planners care about many of the same things: multi-spectral ...

Details Accessory to War

TitleAccessory to War
Release DateSep 11th, 2018
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
GenreScience, Nonfiction, History, Politics, War, Military Fiction

Reviews Accessory to War

  • Brandon Forsyth
    An alternate (and, arguably, better) title for this could be THE HISTORY OF ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN LESS OF A HURRY, and it's just as fascinating and richly observed as Mr. Degrasse Tyson's slimmer volume from last year. Unfortunately, there's also a very long section in the middle that feels like an exhaustive attempt to find every UN declaration ever made about the use of outer space, and it really bogs down what has, up until that point, be...
  • Jennifer
    "Many significant advances in our understanding of the cosmos are by-products of government investment in the apparatus of warfare, and many innovative instruments of destruction are by-products of advances in astrophysics." Neil deGrasse Tyson expands on this statement by leaps and bounds in his book: Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military. With almost 600 pages and nearly 19 hours via audio, Accessory to...
  • Jon Stone
    I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. For anyone interested in the linkage between the missions of science and warfighting, this book is for you. I feel like I can tell the pages written by Dr. Tyson, and those written by Avis Lang. That may sound negative, but it’s not. I think the humor and perspective of Dr. Tyson comes through more with the contrast. Anyone interested in the early days of ...
  • Bria
    After wading through the pages of medieval history, old rudimentary inventions like longitude, and the CNN opinion-like pages of anger at the American military, you got like five pages on the actual weapons of space and some information about a space war.The advertising and naming of this book was a smoke screen. It was 50% venting about how terrible we are as humans because we engage in war and spend money on it (which if you look at history, at...
  • Sirius Scientist
    A detailed account of the impact of specific sciences on military advancement and the resulting outcomes. Heavy on the military angle--for those who think this is going to be another popular physics book. This is not a deep dive into the theory of various physics and engineering disciplines, but instead a meshing of where funding comes from, politics, how projects are prioritized, what this prioritization does to science advancement on the global...
  • Amanda Van Parys
    I enjoyed this book and I'm still confused as to why the title is "The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military" when it was more like "Space and the Military." Overall, I can see the relationship, but specifically, I mostly didn't see the relationship because it felt like astrophysics itself was barely explained. However, I am not an astrophysicist and possess a bare minimum of scientific knowledge and in all honesty I'm operating...
  • Cathy Hodge
    Wow, text-book level amount of history about scientific innovations and military advancements. Space, data, and the new "High-ground." I liked how this book had global information and did NOT just focus on American history and American scientific research. It was a bit like learning how sausage is made...… not pleasant to see the political machine at work... but necessary to get the research off the ground. What will be next on the great fronti...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    Armies and Navies and militaries, in general, have depended on science for most of history. Astronomy is no exception. The symbiosis between Astronomy comes in the form of navigation technologies and sensing and detection. Be it navigating by the stars, using a telescope to survey a landscape on the grounds or the heavens, or using light unseen by ordinary eyes to peer into the skies or detect a foe. Tyson goes over the many intersections between...
  • Roger Smitter
    This book needs to be read by every congressperson and their advisors as well as every college faculty member. At the same time, every college/university physicist should read explain this book to every social science and humanities faculty member. deGrasse Tyson challenges us — in a very accessible way — to understand how humans have made war increasingly dangerous not just for the combatants but also the rest of us. He tells us how war has ...
  • John Munro
    Needs to be organized a bit better. Too much chronological jumping around. Otherwise an interesting read.
  • Angie
    This is fantastic look at the history of astrophysics and its intersection with warming, much more thorough and well-sourced than most of Dr. Tyson's writing. It's aimed at an audience that wants to get into the weeds, so not those in a hurry.The first few chapters were interesting, but mostly in the realm of things I had heard before. The message came across as: "Psst, some technologies developed for war are also useful in science and vice versa...
  • Faisal X
    الفلكي المعروف بكتبه الجميلة وبساطة أسلوبه حتى يتسنى للشخص الغير المختص أن يستمتع بهذا العلم نقل لنا علاقة الفلكي بالحروب والالات الحربية بقصص واراء ونظريات وشرح هذه النظريات المساعدة في بناء الالة العسكرية وعلاقة علم الفلك والصناعة الفضائية با...
  • Brian Mikołajczyk
    "Space exploration may pull in the talent, but war pays the bills." -Neil deGrasse TysonTyson surveys the history of various inventions (e.g. telescope, missile, compass, GPS, etc.) and pens the story of how the military influenced the advent of them. The history is interesting. He opens the book with an anecdote about his personal career in which he found out some of his work would be used towards a military purpose wanting to quit the post, how...
  • Marvin
  • Ginny
    This was one bad book. I actually hate to say that. I’ve seen Neil deGrasse Tyson so many times on television and found him so entertaining. He is the reason I even picked up this book. I saw him on Bill Maher as well as the Late Show with Stephen Colbert plugging this book. He described it as a weighty book from which we could learn the interconnection for good between science and military advancements. It sounded interesting. I have no idea w...
  • Catherine Puma
    Most space exploration initiatives and atmospheric technology has been funded by military departments and budgets. Most of the motivation behind putting monitoring devices and people into space has been driven by the desire to show military prowess. These two realities are the main points made by Tyson's Accessory to War, but the book goes into tremendous detail as it explains the different discoveries and times during the development of the fiel...
  • Tnb
    This is a very painful book to read. It is unclear what the goal of the writing is. There are some interesting pieces of statistics to put the large numbers in perspective with one another, but this is just about all. Initially, I thought-ok, when he speaks and he is excited, he jumps from topic to topic- but then I thought-he cannot possibly be this gibberish for this length. It is very useful for the American public to understand where the larg...
  • Scott Schneider
    Fascinating history of how the military has been the dominant force driving scientific research, particularly for astrophysics. The extent to which the military dominates is chilling. I was disappointed that at the end Degrasse Tyson didn't come out more forcefully for independence for scientists. He should be the poster child for Science for the People. But astrophysics is so expensive, without military support it would be crippled. A similar bo...
  • Daniel Kukwa
    There is something frustrating about the organization of this book. It's packed with excellent scholarship and research, and many of the sections I thoroughly enjoyed...but only in isolation. Together they simply don't seem to cohere comfortably: a history of scientific advances, a section on nuclear weapons history, and then a final section that features an attempt to tie everything together. It's a useful, productive read...but in the end, not ...
  • Alexander Rivas
    All the history that relates to how the military inspired, helped, funded, and used astrophysicists is incredible. So much of the technology we use and the military uses is inspired and lots of the times financed by the army of a country. This book is full of historical facts of when astrophysics and the military have worked together to create new weapons or technology to give them an advantage over their enemy. I would have loved to have history...
  • LeeAnn Heringer
    Normally I enjoy Neil deGrasse Tyson’s writing,but... the first chapter of this book was his mixed feelings about the second Iraqi war and how America had lost all competence at science and faded to a second or third world country. Boring. The second chapter was about how astronomy and astrology got all tangled up together. Boring. The third chapter was the almost, well, we’ll leave out a lot of stuff, history of the telescope. I never made i...
  • Dan
    False advertising. One of the major contribution of astrophysics to war was/is celestial navigation - no where discussed. And the first chapter in talking about budgets the author needs to read the constitution - ‘provide for the common defense and promote general welfare’ - not provide general welfare. In tact the writings of Jefferson and Madison were much opposed to open education. Finally, the entire defense establishment of funding for g...
  • Ben Vogel
    More promising in the title than the content delivered. I heard Dr. Tyson talking about his book on Joe Rogan's podcast and decided to read the book. Unfortunately NdGT was more entertaining and informative in those 2 hours of interview than in this book, which focused more on geopolitics than it did on the connections between science, military, and astrophysics. More like an infield hit off the dirt than the double off the wall that I was hoping...
  • Ahdom
    A very interesting look at the history of science development in the field of astrophysics and how progress is intricately linked to wars. This book did have some slow bits that bogged down the book somewhere the middle, but was very interesting and enjoyable on the whole. As times change, one hopes that discovery for its own sake will propel sciences in the future or advancing mankind. This book was very digestible. I recommend to anyone who enj...
  • Mike
    Tyson is hard to read sometimes. He is sometimes very succinct, other times he's very drawn out. I glazed over a few times and had to re-read parts because I lost his point now and then. TL:DR Humans sure like to kill humans. There is a silver lining, technology that adds to quality of life and longevity.
  • Sami
    After Prof. Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, this is my favourite book of 2018 so far. If you’ve liked Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, you will love this book!Packed with historical accounts, the narration makes connections to the modern day science in such a detailed and interesting way; it’s incredible!
  • Richard
    Didn't get the chance to read the entire book just read bits and bobs and the odd chapter or two. Bit of a disappointment, because I thought this book would be about " Star Wars " and the future of military in space. One chapter was devoted to 15th century about finding the longitude ( in terms of navigating the oceans ) - what does this have to do with this book ???
  • Ailith Twinning
    "SuperPower is War or: How We Sell Our Souls For Telescopes." The perfect moment of the book is his mention of the triptych of the Astronomer's sphere, the Crusader's Cross, and Foreign Lands' Vegetation. Science, War, and Profit. The more things change. . . Also, scientists are just shitty as historians. I really wish they'd stop it.I miss Sagan. . . .
  • David Eisler
    Fascinating look at how science and the military have been interwoven for centuries. Anyone interested in either the development of astrophysics as a scientific field or the technological history of military innovation would find a lot to digest within these pages.