Acquired Traits: Memories of a Geneticist from the Soviet Union

Acquired Traits: Memories of a Geneticist from the Soviet Union

by Raissa L. Berg

View All Available Formats & Editions

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Under Stalin, the science of genetics in the Soviet Union degenerated into a farce. ``Acquired traits are inherited,'' ``collective labor will create collective man,'' ``studying chromosomes is unnecessary''so ran the slogans of the party line. Berg's garrulous, energetic memoir unleashes a Swiftian satire on the crass manipulation of scientists, from the quack experiments of agronomist Trofim Lysenko in the 1950s through the '70s. Born in St. Petersburg in 1913, the author left Russia in 1974 and is a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She writes about her unreciprocated love for her strict stepmother, attending Leningrad University, life in a tiny communal apartment, raising two daughters after her husband left her. Colleagues branded her a lackey of the West, but in this feisty autobiography Berg has the last word as she chronicles her moral resistance to the thought control of a bureaucracy that decimated the ranks of Soviet scientists. (August)
On life, the life of science, and the science of genetics in Stalinist Russia. First published in Russian in 1983 (Chalidze Publications, NYC) and revised by the author for the English-language edition, which was itself first published in 1988 by Viking Penguin. Very imperfect perfect-binding--pages pulled loose upon inspection. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >