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The Planet-Girded Suns

“Engdahl has marshalled an impressive and fascinating selection of primary sources—including a roster of believers that includes Newton, Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman, and rocket pioneer Robert Goddard; and excerpts from popular hymns, poetry, and 17th century proto-science fiction. . . . Whether or not any of this justifies further efforts to make contact with other life-forms, Engdahl has shown how deep this vein of speculation runs . . . and reminded us that our ancestors entertained a view of the universe that was larger and more imaginative than the history books lead us to believe. Challenging and original.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In a brisk, engrossing account Engdahl traces the theories and speculations concerning the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligent life throughout history. . . . This first nonfiction book by a noted writer of science fiction for young people is based on original research in primary sources and smoothly incorporates many quotations from scientists, philosophers, poets and theologians.” —ALA Booklist

“Although written primarily for teenagers, the substantial treatment of the history of the idea of other solar systems, based largely on research in primary documents, should make it of use to scholars.” —Isis One Hundred Second Critical Bibliography of the History of Science and Its Cultural Implications

The Planet-Girded Suns is a beautiful example of what the disciplined imagination can do. . . . It is a fine, carefully done history of the ideas about other worlds—nicely balanced in its presentation of the informational and mystical elements of the subject.” —Horn Book

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