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If you've read any of Richard Feynman's wonderful autobiographies you may think that a biography of Feynman would be a waste of your time. Wrong! Gleick's Genius is a masterpiece of scientific biography--and an inspiration to anyone in pursuit of their own fulfillment as a person of genius. Deservedly nominated for a National Book Award, underservedly passed over by the committee in the face of tough competition, and very deservedly a book that you must read. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
It would be hard to tell personal stories about the late Nobelist Feynman (1918-1988) better than the subject himself did in What Do You Care What Other People Think? To his credit, Gleick does not try. Rather, he depicts Feynman's "curious character" in its real context: the science he helped develop during physics' most revolutionary era. Fans of Feynman's own bestseller, "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! , " won't be disappointed by his colleagues' recollections of his reckless obsession with doing science (a grad-school dorm neighbor once opened Feynman's door to find him rolling on the floor as he worked on a problem); but the anecdotes punctuate an expanded account of Feynman the visceral working scientist, not Feynman the iconoclast. This biography wants to measure both the particle and the wave of 20th-century genius--Feynman's, Julian Schwinger's, Murray Gell-Mann's, and others'--in the quantum era. Gleick seems to have enjoyed the cooperation of Feynman's family plus that of a good many of his colleagues from the Manhattan Project and the Challenger inquiry (in which Feynman played a scene-stealing role), and he steadily levies just enough of the burden of Feynman's genius on the reader so that the physicist remains, in the end, a person and not an icon of science. A genius could not hope for better. Gleick is the author of Chaos: The Making of A New Science.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book is quite well done. It is now my favorite book, and I think it wouldn't be a stretch to claim it as the greatest scientific biography ever written. Read morePublished on May 11 2011 by Deaven
Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, Gleick
Q: "I read both of Feynman's autobiographies! Why would I need to read a biography? Read more
Gleick's biography of Feynman is certainly palatable for even non-techical readers... however, if you're interested in Feynman as a person, you're far better off reading it in... Read morePublished on June 4 2003 by Ron R Lin
I read Genius for a college literature course. I thought the book was pretty boring. Some of the personal stories of Richard Feynman were interesting, but there were very few of... Read morePublished on Dec 5 2002 by Chris
This book is so bad that I didn't make it past the first few pages. Another reviewer here agrees with me that this book gets off to a very bad start immediately when he says,... Read morePublished on Dec 5 2002 by Anthony Martello
...in that the author repeatedly goes for two or three pages without even mentioning Feynman! He shoots off on a tangent and gives us a quick history of someone else, or brings up... Read morePublished on Dec 18 2001 by M. Meier
I almost stopped reading this book after the first few chapters- very dry reading, and the author repeatedly goes for 2-3 pages without even mentioning Feynman, instead going off... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2001 by M. Meier
The scientists who were building the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos during World War II allowed Richard P. Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2001 by Bruce P. Barten
There are many books by and about Feynman. The quality of Gleick's research and writing makes this book more comprehensive than any other biography on Feynman and this book also... Read morePublished on May 20 2001 by Kwong Chan