Isaac Newton

ISAAC NEWTON….I see that the New York Public Library has mounted what looks to be a fascinating exhibit dedicated to Isaac Newton. This is the kind of thing that makes me wish I lived in New York. I could spend all day at something like this.

Unfortunately, if James Gleick is right ? and he seems to be ? it sounds like it does a pretty poor job of portraying Newton himself, who was, to put it bluntly, something of a ruthless, misanthropic bastard. True, he’s also the most influential human being yet to walk the earth, but he was still a shithead. It seems odd to avoid that in a major exhibit, even if Newton the man isn’t its major focus.

Washington Monthly - Donate Today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation