Sam Kean

Sam Kean is the New York Times bestselling author of The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb, all of which were also named Amazon top science books of the year. The Disappearing Spoon was a runner-up for the Royal Society of London's book of the year for 2010, and The Violinist's Thumb and The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons were nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award in 2013 and 2015, as well as the AAAS/Subaru SB&F prize.

His work has appeared in The Best American Nature and Science Writing, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, Psychology Today, Slate, Mental Floss and other publications, and he has been featured on NPR's "Radiolab," "All Things Considered" and "Fresh Air."



Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us

New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean is back with a history of the world via the gases in every breath we take.
Air is the single most important thing in your environment right now. You can survive without food, without solids, for weeks. You can survive without water, without liquids, for days. Without air, without gases, you'll last a few minutes at most. And yet, we spend so little time thinking about it.

Fortunately, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean is taking us on a journey through the periodic table once again to help us understand the air we breathe, this time telling stories ranging from Cleopatra's perfumes and Nazi mustard gas to medical anesthesia and neon lights.

Caesar's Last Breath aims to expand our minds as surely as we expand our lungs during our fullest, deepest breaths. Pure air is colorless and (ideally) odorless, and by itself it sounds like nothing. That doesn't mean it's mute, or that it has no voice -- it's actually burning to tell its story.