Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mindby Kitty Ferguson
Stephen Hawking has been an iconic figure in physics for the last half a century, making many groundbreaking discoveries on the nature of the universe. Yet while his mind roams to the farthest corners of reality, his body has become increasingly trapped by the advance of Lou Gehrig’s disease, which has bound him to… See more details below
Stephen Hawking has been an iconic figure in physics for the last half a century, making many groundbreaking discoveries on the nature of the universe. Yet while his mind roams to the farthest corners of reality, his body has become increasingly trapped by the advance of Lou Gehrig’s disease, which has bound him to a wheelchair, without speech or movement except for a few facial muscles. Told in his youth that he would not live past his 20s, Hawking will turn 70 in 2012, and today he continues to inspire millions, drawing rock-concert-sized crowds wherever he lectures. Science writer Kitty Ferguson has been working with Stephen Hawking for decades, and produced an internationally bestselling biography of his life in 1992. Now, she brings his life as well as his scientific discoveries up-to-date. This is a remarkable look at how one of the greatest scientific mind alive overcame the odds to become the truly inspirational figure he is today.
The Washington Post
Ferguson shines at explaining Hawking's theories, the jovially competitive academic world in which they are hammered out and her subject's distinctive and evolving intellectual style…An irresistible story. His puckish humor and exuberance for life and for ideas are infectious even at a remove. And the ideas themselves could not ask for a better elucidator.
Intelligent and readable . . . Kitty Ferguson is astonishing in her own right . . . She is a careful explicator not only of [Hawkings'] ideas but of the context in which they arose.
Ferguson provides engaging and helpful explanations of the physics behind [Hawking's] triumphs.
Ferguson's biography of this remarkable man, who recently marked his 70th birthday, is based on personal interviews and a sound understanding of the physics behind Hawking's ideas...this is a delightful book...Highly recommended.
Kitty Ferguson gives a thorough account of Hawking the man, as well as of his extraordinary body of work in cosmology. [She has] a flair for the original which makes much of the tome highly readable. There are excellently clear descriptions of the large issues and precious few off-putting mathematics and equations...Ferguson pitches the balance between Hawking's personal life and an explanation of his work about right.
As both a global icon and an innovative theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking is well served by science writer Kitty Ferguson's fascinating biography. Ferguson explains in accessible terms the major themes that Hawking has explored in his career, and creates a portrait of the private man by drawing on her close personal contact with him and his family. ... Ferguson's sympathetic and informed take on an individual who has enriched human knowledge against the odds is an excellent summing-up, as Hawking approaches his 70th birthday, of his unique and creative contribution to both science and humanity.
More than a biography … a brave attempt to chart the life of the celebrated physicist in parallel with his astounding and important work…. Ferguson has spent a lot of time with Hawking and as a scientist she attempts to explain in lay terms the fundamental concepts of Hawking's vast and amazing body of work.
Science writer Kitty Ferguson has been working for over 20 years to reveal the real Stephen Hawking to the world… proximity gives Ferguson privileged access to Hawking's private world, and her scientific fluency enables her to weave a biography that moves seamlessly between his intellectual and personal development… and Ferguson is adept at making his complex theories accessible to non-experts… Beyond explaining his scientific achievements, Ferguson brings us closer to the man who plays hide-and-seek with his young son, endures marital discord, has a sign on his office door that reads "Quiet Please, The Boss is Asleep," and kibitzes with a journalist who asked if he has willed his DNA to science: "I don't think anyone would want another copy of me." Ultimately, the most astonishing aspect of Ferguson's Hawking is not his otherness, but the extraordinary things that one determined individual can accomplish once he realizes that "life is worth living.
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