Brave Genius: A Scientist, A Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize

Brave Genius: A Scientist, A Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize


By (author) Sean Carroll

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  • Format: Hardback | 576 pages
  • Dimensions: 170mm x 238mm x 48mm | 880g
  • Publication date: 16 October 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307952339
  • ISBN 13: 9780307952332
  • Illustrations note: 20 Black and White Photos Throughout
  • Sales rank: 220,327

Product description

The never-before-told account of the intersection of some of the most insightful minds of the 20th century, and a fascinating look at how war, resistance, and friendship can catalyze genius. In the spring of 1940, the aspiring but unknown writer Albert Camus and budding scientist Jacques Monod were quietly pursuing ordinary, separate lives in Paris. After the German invasion and occupation of France, each joined the Resistance to help liberate the country from the Nazis, ascended to prominent, dangerous roles, and were very lucky to survive. After the war and through twists of circumstance, they became friends, and through their passionate determination and rare talent they emerged as leading voices of modern literature and biology, each receiving the Nobel Prize in their respective fields. Drawing upon a wealth of previously unpublished and unknown material gathered over several years of research, "Brave Genius" tells the story of how each man endured the most terrible episode of the twentieth century and then blossomed into extraordinarily creative and engaged individuals. It is a story of the transformation of ordinary lives into exceptional lives by extraordinary events--of courage in the face of overwhelming adversity, the flowering of creative genius, deep friendship, and of profound concern for and insight into the human condition.

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Author information

SEAN B. CARROLL is the author of "Remarkable Creatures," a finalist for the National Book Award, "The Making of the Fittest," winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Science Book Award, and of "Endless Forms Most Beautiful." Carroll also writes a monthly feature "Remarkable Creatures" for the "New York Times" Science Times. An internationally-known scientist and leading educator, Dr. Carroll currently heads the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and is Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Wisconsin.

Review quote

Praise for Sean B. Carroll's "Brave Genius" "Readers will learn a good deal about symbolism in Camus' fiction and biochemistry in Monod's molecular biology. But, above all, they will learn about a luminous friendship forged in dark times. A rare chronicle of valiant thinkers fighting political oppression and transcending professional boundaries." --"Booklist "(starred review) "Carroll deftly weaves science and history together in his account of the lives, accomplishments, and friendship of two exceptional men...Spanning history, science, and philosophy, this dual biographical study of two significant 20th-century figures will appeal to a diverse audience." --"Library Journal " "[S]killfully combining science, biography and history... An important story well-told." --"Kirkus Reviews" " " "Carroll has a winning way with words, and everything he writes about (especially difficult matters of science) sparkles with clarity." --"Publishers Weekly" "A brave, ambitious, unexpected book. Who knew that Sean B. Carroll, a brilliant biologist, could or would write such a work of literary, political, and scientific history? It brings many revelations, offers several heroes, but at its heart is Jacques Monod, emerging as one of the great, complete men of the 20th century." --David Quammen, author of "Spillover" and "The Song of the Dodo" "Art and science are two essential components forming the very essence of what makes being human worth being human. Sean Carroll has done a yeoman's job of merging these two vital areas beautifully in this moving and carefully researched history of two great minds and two brave men...It is impossible not to be inspired by their story." --Lawrence M. Krauss, author of "The Physics of Star Trek "and "A Universe from Nothing " "A remarkable profile. With deep research and compelling story-telling, Sean Carroll follows these two Nobel-prize winners from the desperate depths of World