Everyone who has studied classical thermodynamics will have heard of the Carnot cycle-the perfect, but impracticable, heat engine that can perform useful work without increasing the entropy ofthe Universe. But the majority (including, until very recently, myself) have no more than the dimmest idea of who Sadi Carnot was or how he came to think of his cycle. Robert Fox's new volume provides some much needed enlightenment. He has translated Carnot's only book, "Reflexions on the Motive Power of Fire".
Review of "Reflexions on the Motive Power of Fire", edited by Robert Fox, Manchester UP, pp 230, 1986.