I've had this book read for a couple of weeks now and I have been trying to find time to write a review that will do it justice. This is not that review. This is what happens when I have to return a book to the library. But perhaps my review can be this: I may go out and buy this book just to own it. How's that?
I do have to note that I prefer Absence of Mind to this book: the former is pithier and more focused on science than politics, and I am more completely behind Robinson when she writes about science than when she writes about politics. Kind of strange for a scientist to say about a novelist, but true. She's more convincing on the scientific issues because of her classical sense of argument and diction, as well as her historically and philosophically grounded content. Somehow she manages to be incredibly erudite without being showy about it. How does she do it? She notes at one point that she is indebted to the style of Cicero more than to a modern writer, that's got to be part of it. But when Robinson argues politics, I find myself answering her back at several points, and honestly, her arguments are shallower. They're still pretty deep.
Thoroughly recommended, although not always agreed with.