Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman

Pantheon, 1992

This life story of the legendary physicist is “a thorough and masterful portrait of one of the great minds of the century” (The New York Review of Books). Raised in Depression-era Rockaway Beach, the physicist Richard Feynman was irreverent, eccentric, and childishly enthusiastic—a new kind of scientist in a field that was in its infancy. His quick mastery of quantum mechanics earned him a place at Los Alamos working on the Manhattan Project under J. Robert Oppenheimer, where the young man held his own among the nation’s greatest minds. There, Feynman turned theory into practice, culminating in the Trinity test, on July 16, 1945, when the Atomic Age was born. He was only twenty-seven. And he was just getting started. In this sweeping biography, James Gleick captures the forceful personality of a great man, integrating Feynman’s work and life in a way that is accessible to lay people and fascinating for the scientists who follow in his footsteps.

“A rare, jewel-like biography… terrifically readable. It achieves an almost perfect balance between the physicist’s work and his life… Gleick is a consummate craftsman.” Washington Post Book World
“Mesmerizing. A stimulating adventure in the annals of science.” New York Times


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