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In Praise Of Imperfe

In Praise Of Imperfe

by Rita Levi-montalc

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A shy, sensitive Jew who grew up in Fascist Italy, the author overcame anti-Semitic repression and her country's relative scientific immaturity, winning the 1986 Nobel Prize in medicine for her work on the nervous system. After Mussolini's racial laws stripped Levi-Montalcini of her academic post, she set up a small, clandestine laboratory in a Piedmont farmhouse where she carried out her fruitful research. Her firsthand account of her country's knuckling under to Hitler is calm and courageous. In 1946, she left Italy for St. Louis, and this earnest, talkative autobiography offers a detailed picture of the growth of modern experimental neurobiology. In 1963, Levi-Montalcini returned to Rome to live with her twin sister and continue her research. Mirroring her scientific credo that imperfection and unpredictability are the yeast of human evolution, her story unfolds a rich, unpredictable life. (April)
Library Journal
The title bespeaks an unwarranted modesty as Levi-Montalcini, co-winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in medicine, reviews her life and work. An elegant writer, she highlights events and personalities that have altered her life. She examines her family and youth, neither Catholic nor Jewish, but dynamic and creative; her schooling and attempts at research in anguished war-torn Italy; her successful research in the United States; and finally, her work in establishing the Laboratory of Cell Biology of the National Research Council of Italy. She does not reveal her soul, but rather a spirit of determination against social and political forces. Inspiring. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries. Mary Hemmings, McGill Univ. Medical Lib., Montreal

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Basic Books
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Sloan Science Series

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