Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman

Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465023714
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/01/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 336,404
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Richard P. Feynman was raised in Far Rockaway, New York, and received his Ph.D. from Princeton. He held professorships at both Cornell and the California Institute of Technology. In 1965 he received the Nobel Prize for his work on quantum electrodynamics. He died in 1988.

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Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
mmtz on LibraryThing 8 months ago
If you¿ve read any books by or about Richard Feynman, then you have to read this collection of his letters, edited by his daughter, Michelle Feynman. The letters, written over most of his lifetime to family, friends, and complete strangers, tell you nearly everything you might want to know about the man.Published in hardcover by Basic Books.
MeganAndJustin on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This collection of personal letters written over the lifetime of Richard Feynman was moving and inspiring. From his early letters to his first wife, dying in a hospital near Los Alamos where he was working during WWII, to the final letter in the book, written to a parent concerned over his bright child, Feynman's kindness and humor were touching and apparent. The letters were collected by his daughter, Michelle, and therefore are shown through a veil of love, but I feel this adds, not detracts.
bragan on LibraryThing 8 months ago
By all accounts, physicist Richard Feynman was a remarkable guy: thoroughly likable, utterly brilliant, modestly plain-spoken, and gifted with a rare ability to explain complicated things clearly. His exploits included winning a Nobel Prize; playing the bongo drums in a ballet; working on the Manhattan Project, where he used to break into his colleagues' safes to highlight problems with security; and serving on the committee investigating the Challenger accident, where he famously dunked one of the shuttle's O-rings into his glass of ice water to prove that it turned brittle in the cold.I adored Feynman's books Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?, which were collections of anecdotes from his life, as told to and transcribed by a friend of his. So I was interested to read this collection of his letters, compiled by his daughter many years after his death, but I did expect that it might be a bit dry, and likely more of historical interest than human interest. Well, I am delighted to report that I was completely wrong about that. These letters are warm and charming and often laugh-out-loud funny. They're also full of joy -- in physics, in teaching, in learning, and in family -- and contain some beautiful insights into the nature of what it's like to do science, particularly the way in which all scientific knowledge is grounded in doubt. A few of them are also very moving, especially his correspondence with his first wife, who was ill when they married and who died tragically young.If I am absolutely honest, I have to confess that I am a little bit in love with Richard Feynman. Possibly I have been since I first read Surely You're Joking back in my late teens, but this collection has quite cemented it. Which is perhaps a little embarrassing, but I can at least take consolation in the fact that, based on his affable reply to a woman who wrote to say she'd fallen in love with him after seeing him on Nova, he would have responded with good grace.
dotarvi on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This collection of personal letters written over the lifetime of Richard Feynman was moving and inspiring. From his early letters to his first wife, dying in a hospital near Los Alamos where he was working during WWII, to the final letter in the book, written to a parent concerned over his bright child, Feynman's kindness and humor were touching and apparent. The letters were collected by his daughter, Michelle, and therefore are shown through a veil of love, but I feel this adds, not detracts.
mhaley on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Mildy entertaining. The first portion of the letters chosen by his son and daughter describing the coorespondence with his dying wife were a bit tedious, but they did reflect his unconditional love for his wife. The last two thirds of the letters showed the wonderful personality of RPF, and his ability to be a sensitive, caring man who took time to encourage young scientists. The letters reflect a humble man. A polar opposite of Albert Einstein, who was a complete self-centered, non-caring, loveless man.
frailgesture on LibraryThing 11 months ago
I only recently bought this, but I can already tell that it'll be something I'll reread from time to time. I'm a minor fan of epistolary books (things like Letters to a Young Poet, or Chekhov's Life in Letters), and this is one of the better ones that I've come across. Feynman wasn't a prose stylist, but his writing is perfectly readable and enjoyable for what it is, and occasionally very moving, especially the early letters between him and his first wife. Writing was apparently their primary form of communication, since Feynman was holed up in Los Alamos working on the nuke while his wife was in a sanitarium or hospital dealing with her tuberculosis. But even the more standard letters are amusing. Anyway, I really enjoy this book.
Meggo on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This book presents some new material, and the insights and descriptions by Feynman's daughter add depth and richness to the material. Much of the material was familiar from other sources, although the insights and family correspondence alone make this book worth reading.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
One must really appreciate the efforts of Michelle and team for coming out with this wonderful masterpeice. After having cleared my graduation in Physics (obviously prior to my Post Grad) courtesy the 3 red books, I still make an attempt to understand everything that's even remotely Feynman