“A well-informed deep dive into genius. Atalay explores the lives of Shakespeare, Leonardo, Beethoven, Newton, and Einstein. Readers will enjoy his account of their accomplishments, accompanied by portraits of rival immortals who didn’t make the cut. His digressions into phrenology, Einstein’s brain, geniuses' physical maladies, and rankings of various sorts of greatness throughout history are entertaining and enlightening.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“As only he can do, Professor Atalay presents a fascinating analysis of the similarities and differences in genius in the arts versus the sciences. While his book examines the lives and works of hundreds of gifted men and women, the focus is on just five unrivaled geniuses. Through his unique lens as both a physicist and artist, the author engages with readers of different backgrounds. Having taught the general education course 'Changing Views of the Universe' for many years, I found Beyond Genius a captivating read. A true masterpiece.”
– Teresa L. Larkin, Physics Professor and Advisor for Women in Science, American University
"Bulent Atalay writes about music with the same effervescence, conviction, and illumination that he brings to physics, the visual arts, and all the realms of genius he traverses. He presents to us a Beethoven who is vivid, human, troubled, and even ornery, at the same time that he is unutterably inspired.”
– Alan Fletcher, composer, President of the Aspen Music Festival and School
"This is an absolutely brilliant and profoundly fascinating book about the nature of true genius and the causes of creativity. Weaving together scientific studies with historical insights, Atalay explains how the greatest minds work.
– Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs
Praise for Math and the Mona Lisa
“Bulent Atalay takes us on a delightful romp through millenia and across continents, bringing together art, architecture, science, and mathematics. His writing is informed by his artist's eye for beauty, his historian's appreciation of context, and his scientist's love of order and symmetry. Leonardo is the prototype for the renaissance man—artist, architect, philosopher, scientist, writer. There are few like him today, but Atalay is indeed a modern renaissance man, and he invites us to tap the power of synthesis that is Leonardo's model.”
– William D. Phillips, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
“The broad sweep of Professor Atalay's brilliant mind brings us an approach to understanding the Vincian genius that is so insightful, so original, and so well-reasoned that it immediately becomes an essential volume in the canon of Leonardiana. I read this monumental achievement in awe of the author's perceptions.”
– Sherwin Nuland, author of Leonardo da Vinci and winner of the National Book Award for How We Die
“A masterful examination of the differences and similarities in the sciences and the arts, as embodied by that genius of both fields: Leonardo da Vinci. Professor Bulent Atalay has penetrated Leonardo's mind, in a way that is both highly readable and very informative.”
– Jamie Wyeth