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 Sean B. Carroll

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307952332
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 09/24/2013
Pages: 576
Product dimensions: 6.66(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.83(d)

About the Author

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, among others. Carroll also wrote 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.

Table of Contents

Prologue Chance, Necessity, and Genius 1

I The Fall

Chapter 1 City of Light 17

Chapter 2 Plans 28

Chapter 3 Misadventures in Norway 46

Chapter 4 Springtime for Hitler 57

Chapter 5 Defeated and Divided 81

II The Long Road to Freedom

Chapter 6 Regrouping 99

Chapter 7 Ill Winds 106

Chapter 8 An Hour of Hope 116

Chapter 9 Waiting and Working 132

Chapter 10 The Terror Begins 141

Chapter 11 The Plague 154

Chapter 12 Brothers in Arms 163

Chapter 13 Double Lives 177

Chapter 14 Preparations 197

Chapter 15 Normandy 211

Chapter 16 Les Jours de Gloire 227

III Secrets of Life

Chapter 17 The Talk of the Nation 253

Chapter 18 Secrets of Life 262

Chapter 19 Bourgeois Genetics 275

Chapter 20 On the Same Path 290

Chapter 21 A New Beginning 297

Chapter 22 Rebels with a Cause 307

Chapter 23 Taking Sides 314

Chapter 24 The Attic 324

IV Nobel Thoughts and Noble Deeds

Chapter 25 The Blood of the Hungarians 337

Chapter 26 Repression and Reaction 355

Chapter 27 A Voice of Reason 37J

Chapter 28 The Logic of Life 387

Chapter 29 Making Connections 404

Chapter 30 The Possible and the Actual 416

Chapter 31 Unfinished 429

Chapter 32 Messengers 440

Chapter 33 Synthesis 455

Epilogue: French Lessons

Chapter 34 Camus in a Lab Coat 467

Chapter 35 Chance and Necessity: Sisyphus Returns 482

Appendix: The Science 498

Acknowledgments 505

Notes 509

Bibliography 559

Index 568

Permissions 582

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Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MerleF More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book: As overview of two geniuses; as partial history of French Resistance in WWII; and as details of accomplished ives of both Camus (whom I knew of a bit) and Jaques Monod, of whom I had never heard. Wonderful narrative style. Very intellectual, but still a well-told story.
thelexicondevil More than 1 year ago
In Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize* (2014) University of Wisconsin molecular biologist Sean B. Carroll is the story of two men who tried to live ethical lives during some of the world’s darkest hours. Brave Genius follows the parallel lives of Albert Camus and Jacques Monod, two of twentieth century France’s greatest thinkers and ethicists. Both men were Nobel Laureates (Camus for literature, Monod for physiology) whose professional successes were matched by their activities—both overt and covert—as public intellectuals. During the German occupation of France in WWII, Camus and Monod were active members of the French Resistance: Camus wrote scathing editorials in the Resistance newspaper Combat while Monod led sabotage missions—activities frequently punished by execution. After the war, both men became outspoken critics of Soviet-style Communism and the stultifying effects of totalitarianism on personal liberties and public discourse. The strongest aspect of Brave Genius is in its characterization of Monod and his daring-do. Truly, it is Monod who is the hero of this book—and rightly so. Until I read Brave Genius, I was not familiar with Monod, his awarding winning work on gene expression, or even his contributions to French intellectual life. Carroll’s tight, tension-building prose underscores the gravity of Monod’s heroic actions. Ironically, Brave Genius’s greatest weakness is its central marketing point: the friendship between Monod and Camus. The book is marketed as an exploration of the formative friendship between Camus and Monod; Carroll goes so far as to claim that Camus’s friendship with Monod was on the most indelible relationships Camus ever had. However, Carroll only succeeds in showing how the men lead parallel lives, the reader is left in the awkward position of having to accept that the men had a fraternal bond based on a few excerpted letters and the author’s word alone. Had Carroll brought the friends together more within the pages of Brave Genius, this claim at deep friendship would have seemed less tenuous. Overall, Brave Genius is well worth a read for Camus fans, French culture enthusiasts, and war buffs alike. *This book was sent to me by the publisher for review. I have not been financially compensated for this review and the thoughts expressed herein are my own.