Measuring Eternity: The Search for the Beginning of Time

by Martin Gorst
New York: Broadway Books, 2002. 352 pages.

In Measuring Eternity, Martin Gorst provides a readable and engaging account of attempts to ascertain the age of the world. Ranging from the time of Ussher, La Peyrère, and Burnet all the way to the Hubble Space Telescope, the book provides delightful glimpses of a variety of eccentric characters devoted to the development of a scientific chronology. "The world has not only existed much longer than was once believed," he writes toward the end of Measuring Eternity: "we now know that it is larger and more varied, richer and more complex, than Ussher and his contemporaries could ever have imagined."