Stargazers and Gravediggers: Memoirs to Worlds in Collision book by Immanuel Velikovsky is the authors autobiography review of the Velikovsky Controversy when he published WiC.
The Stargazers and Gravediggers book will be of interest to those who like Velikovskian works or investigating academic suppression of alternative theories.
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Stargazers and Gravediggers book review by publisher
With the publication of Immanuel Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision in 1950 a bombshell burst upon the literary and scientific scene whose reverberations continue to this day. Even prior to publication, the book was the subject of intense controversy.
The academic community was immediately and intensely polarized. Several world-famous “authorities” denounced the book as “rubbish” (without having read it carefully), while other scientists and scholars praised Velikovsky’s method and revolutionary conclusions.
Through a concerted campaign of letter writing, a successful boycott of the original publisher’s textbook department was undertaken by an elite group of American astronomers. Even as Worlds in Collision hovered at the top of the national best-seller lists, the publisher was forced to suspend publication of the book, and another firm, which had no vulnerable textbook division, took it on. Thus one of the greatest controversies in scientific history became one of the most shameful episodes in publishing history.
Here for the first time is the full account of what actually transpired. Writing with kindness as well as candor, Velikovsky tells of the unprecedented treatment he endured at the hands of his critics.
Part of the Stargazers and Gravediggers introduction by Eric Larrabee
The readers of the pages that follow will find described (and accurately, as I can testify) a response to Velikovsky’s books which, had it not come from distinguished figures in various fields of science and scholarship, would have been unworthy of serious attention. Readers too young to remember will find their credulity strained, but it happened.
Stargazers and Gravediggers book review by Joseph May
By no means does all this mean that the book is perfect, as a memoir, as an account of events, or even as an apologia. There is much detail one wishes were included and some that could have been omitted without loss … Still, the value of Stargazers and Gravediggers exceeds the shortcomings. It illuminates and actually entertains while doing so. It is the first book that reveals the author’s sense of humor. It is a delight to readers and a sourcebook for historians.
Joseph May | Associate Professor of History at Youngstown State University