Galileo was born 449 years ago, which is reason enough for the publication of several books about him in 2013. In the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik has a great review-essay about Galileo, his trial, and the new books. I’m intrigued by the argument he presents that Galileo could have avoided a lot of trouble if he’d been just a little less stubborn and impolitic. Gopnik defends “the originality of the scientific revolution.” He talks about Galileo’s authorship of “the most entertaining classic of science ever published.” He even throws in an apropos Milton Friedman reference. Perhaps most impressively, he does a good job of helping us understand the perspective of the church hierarchy, which seems so foreign to our modern liberal sensibilities.