The author, shown at right about 1974, was vilified by the scientific community for publishing this book on planetary theory. Velikovsky was a scientist who also knew a lot about history and mythology. The outpouring of scorn and abuse seems far out of line if his theories are really so impossible to believe. The book is out of print and Velikovsky died years ago, yet the controversy lives on. (Yes, you can read all about it in Wikipedia.)
People familiar with the book of Joshua in the Bible probably have heard about the day that the sun stood still in the sky. With that extra long day, Joshua was able to defeat the people he was fighting. The Israelites therefore saw that "wonder" as help from God. Velikovsky found that other peoples around the world also report an extended day or, on the opposite side of the world, an extended night. Happenstance? He didn't think so.
Venus, the planet we know as the morning star and also the evening star, was for some reason worshiped by many different people. He wanted to know why. Velikovsky found evidence to show that Venus "did battle" in the sky, frightening people all around the earth. Using descriptions from numerous ancient manuscripts, the author shows that the earth once had only 360 days, meaning it was in a slightly different orbit. Venus changed that, Velikovsky says. According to his theory, Venus was once a comet, expelled from Jupiter, and had a comet's tail which whipped the earth.
Even more interesting is the "fight" between Venus and Mars. Recently, I ran across a theory about our "electric universe," which says the planets have charges. Without calling it that, Velikovsky (in the 1940s) wrote that Venus and Mars shot off sparks (my words) when they came into close proximity. Earth got in the way of their "fight" and was bumped out of its orbit, but only slightly. The poles flipped and after that the sun "came up" from the wrong direction. That extended day mentioned above happened when the earth changed its position as well as its orbit.
Velikovsky's theory makes sense to me. This book was as much fun to read this second time as when I read it before, and I rate it 9/10.
"Gravity can only attract, but the electric force can also repulse. ... The Electric Universe is fantastical beautiful in its elegant simplicity, already in its first description. However, the 20th century remains for ever the century of astronomical mysteries because of the unleveled effects of the electric force."Author of this article is Dr. László Körtvélyessy, physicist and engineer of high temperature process technics and a candidate of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Most of this article is WAY over my head, but I pulled out a small bit that sounds like English to me. I found the article and photo about the electric universe here: http://www.the-electric-universe.info/The_idea.html and here: http://www.kronia.com/home.html