Celebrated, controversial, condemned, Galileo Galilei is a seminal figure in the history of science. Both Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein credit him as the first modern scientist. His 1633 trial before the Holy Office of the Inquisition is the prime drama in the history of the conflict between science and religion. Galileo was then thirty-nine years old and the most venerated scientist in Italy. Although subscribing to an anti-literalist view of the Bible, Galileo considered himself a believing Catholic. Bringing a deep knowledge of Italy and a longstanding interest in Renaissance and Baroque lore, Dan Hofstadter explains apparent paradoxes and sets this historic moment in the widest cultural context, portraying Galileo as both humanist and scientist. The Earth Moves' offers a cogent portrayal of the beginnings of modern science and a turning point in the evolution of the freedom of thought. "