Leslie Alan Horvitz

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Leslie Alan Horvitz

Leslie Alan Horvitz is an author and journalist specializing in science.

Latest by this author

Leslie Alan Horvitz is an author and journalist specializing in science. His nonfiction books include Eureka: Scientific Breakthroughs That Changed the World, Understanding Depression with Dr. Raymond DePaulo of Johns Hopkins University, and The Essential Book of Weather Lore. His articles have been published by Travel and Leisure, Scholastic, Washington Times, and Insight on the News, among others. He is also the author of several published suspense novels. Leslie has served on the board of Art Omi and is a member of PEN America. He is based in New York City. Find him online at lesliehorvitz.com.

Publications by this author
Reader’s Digest Press | October 2007

Featuring helpful tips for amateur forecasters on how to predict the weather, this entertaining compilation of timeless weather folklore, trivia, facts, wisdom, and records is organized into sections that cover:

  • months, seasons, and climate
  • cold spells, snow, and hail
  • sunshine, heat waves, and droughts
  • cloud, rain, and flood
  • storm, wind, and tornadoes
Baron’s Books | March 2007

Amateur meteorologists—as well as everybody else who is interested in understanding the dynamics of weather—will find what they’re looking for in this meteorology primer and daily logbook. An expertly written text explains the fundamentals of meteorology to beginners and offers interesting pointers on weather prediction to more experienced weather watchers. It also lists the forecasting equipment that home meteorologists will need, including a barometer, a thermometer, and a simple device for measuring wind speed and direction.

Readers will find explanations of the different cloud types, information on what kinds of weather they indicate, tips on measuring precipitation, instruction on reading a weather map, and advice on predicting thunderstorms and other weather phenomena. A 104-page logbook section (52 two-page spreads) provides space for charting weather-related data for a full calendar year. Weather Tracker is printed in two colors and features more than 60 enlightening illustrations and diagrams. Its rubberized PVC cover with wraparound flap and a snap to keep it closed will protect the pages against the elements when weather watchers take the book outdoors.

Baron’s Books | April 2006

Amateur stargazers will value this combination logbook and astronomy fact book, with sky maps included. It also offers novice astronomers a primer that explains sky-watching basics. A clear night sky has limitless objects to study, and the view changes constantly with passing hours and changing seasons. Whether backyard astronomers study the heavens with binoculars, a telescope, or the naked eye, they’re likely to see objects they’ll want to note down and remember.

The Night Sky Tracker’s extensive logbook is set up to help users list date, time, their viewing location, light conditions, and weather conditions over a period of 100 evenings. It also provides spaces to list observed constellations, phases of the Moon, visible planets, meteors, and special sightings, such as comets or Earth-launched satellites. This handy astronomers’ helper is specially designed for outdoor use at night, featuring a rubberized PVC cover with wraparound flap and snap for protection against nighttime dew, and a hidden spiral binding. The cover has glow-in-the dark markings, so it won’t get lost in the night shadows. Here’s a great gift item for giving to amateur astronomers—if they haven’t already picked up a copy for themselves. Printed in two colors, with maps and illustrations.

Facts on File | June 2006

This encyclopedia examines the entire history of crimes against humanity, during both wartime and peacetime. With more than 450 entries, the encyclopedia covers a wide range of relevant topics: human rights, war criminals, trials of war crimes, examples of genocide, international organizations and international law concerning war crimes, and more. Also included is a primary resources section of documents vital to understanding this subject.

Coverage includes: Amnesty International, apartheid, Armenian genocide, Babi Yar, Klaus Barbie, biological weapons, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, collateral damage, conflict diamonds, Darfur, François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, El Salvador, ethnic cleansing, Freedom House, Geneva Conventions, ghost prisoners, gulags, Human Rights Convention, Saddam Hussein, International Committee of the Red Cross, My Lai massacre, North Korea, Pol Pot, Rwanda, Shining Path, slavery, Taliban, Desmond Tutu, and Simon Wiesenthal.

Ferguson Career Biographies | January 2005

This book tells the story of one of the world’s most influential and admired people, focusing on the subject’s early education and training, challenges faced on the job, important mentors, and career achievements.

Co-author: Wayne Theodore | Harbor Press | March 2003

Wayne Theodore describes growing up with eleven brothers and sisters with a violent father and self-destructive mother who subjected their children to a relentless series of beatings, torture, starvation, and abandonment and his efforts to come to terms with the past and triumph over the horror of his youth.

John Wiley | January 2002

While the roads that lead to breakthrough scientific discovery can be as varied and complex as the human mind, the moment of insight for all scientists is remarkably similar. The word “eureka,” attributed to the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes, has come to express that universal moment of joy, wonder, and even shock at discovering something entirely new.

In this collection of twelve scientific stories, Leslie Alan Horvitz describes the drama of sudden insight as experienced by a dozen distinct personalities, detailing discoveries both well known and obscure. From Darwin, Einstein, and the team of Watson and Crick to such lesser known luminaries as fractal creator Mandelbrot and periodic table mastermind Dmitri Mendeleev, Eureka! perfectly illustrates Louis Pasteur’s quip that chance favors the prepared mind. The book also describes how amateur scientist Joseph Priestley stumbled onto the existence of oxygen in the eighteenth century and how television pioneer Philo Farnsworth developed his idea for a TV screen while plowing his family’s Idaho farm.

Co-author: Dr. Raymond De Paolo | John Wiley & Sons | June 2003

In Understanding Depression, one of the world’s foremost authorities on depression presents a thorough, accessible guide to depression’s nature, causes, effects, and treatments. Dr. J. Raymond DePaulo Jr. of the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows you how to find out if what you’re coping with is, in fact, depression. He then examines the full range of proven therapies, both mainstream and alternative, that are currently available. Using insightful and dramatic case stories from DePaulo’s own clinical experience, this user-friendly handbook is a truly indispensable resource for anyone who must deal directly or indirectly with the devastating effects of this common, frightening, and ultimately controllable condition.

Co-authors: Zsuzsa Polgár and Hoainhan Truong | Alpha | October 2002

Interested in learning how to play the world’s most popular board game? Trying to figure out the best ways to start—and end—a game of chess? Want to gain a competitive edge before you head to a tournament? Whether you’re new to chess or beyond the basics and looking for new strategies, you’ll find the advice and instruction you need in Alpha Teach Yourself Chess in 24 Hours. The 24 lessons in this step-by-step guide keep you on track as you learn to play chess from the masters.

Co-author: Mary Peachin | Alpha | December 2002

This guide provides an introduction to the world of sharks, including coverage of shark evolution, hunting and feeding habits, and conservation issues.

Alpha | October 2001

This guide discusses early theories of evolution, the work of Darwin, fossil and other evidence, and the effects of evolution on us and the future.

McGraw-Hill | June 2000

Quotations from well-known and obscure chemists, physicists, and mathematicians offer insight into the scientific process, obstacles in research, and the art of defending theories.

Co-authors: Joseph McCormick, MD and Susan Fisher-Hoch MD | Turner | January 1996

“Level 4 is the highest degree of laboratory containment for isolation and experimentation on microbiological organisms. Level-4 organisms produce lethal illnesses in humans and, for the most part, have no treatment and no prevention. Among the most infamous are Ebola and Lassa.” —From Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC

In the late 1990s, thanks to outbreaks of Ebola and its arrival on American shores, more and more people became aware—and frightened—of this lethal virus. Husband-and-wife team Dr. Joseph B. McCormick and Dr. Susan Fisher-Hoch journeyed through equatorial Africa, Brazil’s ghettos and rainforests, and settlements in northern Pakistan in search of those already infected by these killers. Filled with scientific knowledge, Level 4 explains how and why these viruses are so deadly and how we can prevent further devastating epidemics from breaking out.

Co-author: Robert W. Rieber | Springer Publishing | March 2006

For more than a hundred years, dissociative states, sometimes referred to as multiple personality disorder, have fascinated the public as well as scientists. The precise nature of this disorder is a controversial one, dividing clinicians, theorists, and researchers. Challenging the conventional wisdom on all sides, The Bifurcation of the Self traces the clinical and social history of dissociation in a provocative examination of this widely debated phenomenon.

Open Road Media | October 2013

Seth Stringer is a biohacker. Young, brash, and ambitious, he works in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hacking into DNA the same way hackers infiltrate computer systems: manipulating organisms by inserting new DNA or exploiting genetic mutations that can trigger fatal heart attacks or induce bipolar illness or Alzheimer’s.

Biohackers like Seth can perform their experiments in their kitchens using equipment purchased for next to nothing on eBay. Seth is obsessed with exploring the frontiers of genetic manipulation—but he can be a little naïve. When his former professor Marcus Adair dangles a job in London working for an international pharmaceutical company called Chimera, Seth jumps at the chance. He can make good money and cement his relationship with his girlfriend, who has misgivings about his future prospects as a breadwinner.

What Seth fails to realize, until it’s too late, is that the principal business of Chimera isn’t the manufacture of generic drugs, but the production of lethal genetic products for well-heeled clients. These are used to assassinate or debilitate presidents, prime ministers, and CEOs using their own DNA against them, a method that not only makes it difficult to identify the perpetrator—a cold virus can deliver the engineered DNA—but makes it almost impossible to determine a crime has been committed in the first place.

Lynx Books | February 1989

Certain that his brother Alan did not commit suicide, Michael Friedlander’s findings at the NYC Medical Examiner’s office reinforce this theory and make Michael himself a target.

Popular Library | January 1987

A cult leader who accidentally comes into possession of a deadly new virus uses it to gain power and wealth.

Co-author: H. Harris Gerhard | September 1984

A famous medical researcher suddenly falls over dead, leaving his mistress stunned… a superstar actor dies mysteriously after a weekend of wild lovemaking… a prominent U.S. senator becomes deathly ill after a one-night stand… a playboy doctor meets a violent end after a fabulous fling with a sexy salesgirl. They all die hideously after a spectacular sexual experience.

Something very strange is going on. And Kris Erlanger, a beautiful investigative reporter, risks her life to expose the terrifying secret. The nightmarish truth is far more horrible than anything she could have imagined…

Pocket Books | February 1987

A strange new virus causes its victims to commit acts of impulsive violence, including murder.

Co-author: H. Gerard | Signet | February 1982

Lives are being traded and identities bought and sold, a sinister traffic that would otherwise go undetected if it weren’t for a car accident that takes the life of Maia Stevens, a famous actress who turns out to be not to be Maia at all. For that matter, she isn’t even a woman but rather a transsexual. The stunning discovery is made by Michael Reiss, a pathologist conducting the autopsy. But if the victim isn’t Maia then who is—and where is she? How long has it been since Maia—the real Maia—appeared in public? Reiss is warned not to publish his sensational findings by a doctor representing the Center for Rehabilitative Medicine, an institution which is actually a front for an organization called the Crown of Thorns. If he complies he will be allowed to find out what happened to the many celebrities, dictators and Mafiosi who have paid for others to do their dying for them so that they can go on to live a comfortable life with a new face and a new identity. In time Michael will meet the real Maia but not before he, too, becomes someone else.

Co-author: H. Gerhard | Signet | January 1980

Alan Hammerman and Natalie Kern. A pair of dedicated doctors involved in a love-hate relationship with one another, and in an unending battle to save lives in the overburdened New York hospital where they worked.

Now more and more cases were arriving that neither could diagnose. Men and women in states of near-death from a cause as mysterious as it was menacing.

The puzzle was agonizing. The truth was more nightmarish still, as it became clear that the hospital was being transformed by a monstrous Soviet power in a chamber of medical horrors—and the staff had a choice of being either executioners or victims….

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