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Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet Scientists Kindle Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 368 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Review

a significant contribution to the study of Soviet science; a wide audience of readers will benefit from this book ... Highly recommended. (N.M. Brooks, CHOICE)

About the Author

Istvan Hargittai is a University Professor at the Institute of General and Analytical Chemistry, Budapest Technical University. He is also a Research Professor and Head of Department at the Structural Chemistry Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at Eötvös University, and is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europaea (London).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9571 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (19 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FPLYC62
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,135,731 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a well written and well researched book. While it may not be entirely free of small errors, it really captures a lot of the atmosphere of the Soviet world of science in the second half of the 20th century. For people who like biographies and history books, Buried Glory will provide an engaging reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x98113114) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97f9900c) out of 5 stars Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet Scientists 27 Mar. 2014
By University of Haifa Library - Acquisitions Dept. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Any reader who is interested in scientific discoveries in the 20th century should enjoy this fascinating book. Istvan Hargittai, a distinguished scientist and a notable historian of modern science, is especially interested in the issue of scientific creativity, innovations, and discoveries. As a gifted writer, he discloses to the reader some of the secrets hidden behind scientific discoveries and he has never neglected the personal side and motives of the discoverers, especially their drives and curiosity that fueled their imagination and capability to think outside the box and to reveal some of Nature’s profound secretes. In this book, Hargittai deals with the contributions of some of the major scientists in the Soviet Union (among which there was Nikolai Semenov, the Nobel laureate of 1956 for the discovery of chemical branched reactions). Some of these contributions were unknown or scarcely known in the West (hence buried glory!). Hargittai deals with them not only on the basis of his intensive research but also on that of personal knowledge. Of a special interest is the role of anti-Semitism in the unbearable and tragic obstacles that Jewish scientists had to face in the Soviet Union, especially in Stalin’s time. Only those Jewish scientists who were involved in the development of atomic and hydrogen bombs enjoyed immunity against such obstacles. I have learnt a lot from this excellent and brilliantly written book, to which, as far as I know, there is no competitive research, in such a highest level, in the West. The lucid and simple, yet rich and beautiful, style of the author makes all the discussed topics accessible to the general public and not only to specialists, who, too, would find a lot of interest in this indispensable book.

Professor Amihud Gilead
University of Haifa
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97f99114) out of 5 stars A great intellectual odyssey! 18 Aug. 2015
By Maya.B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An outstanding book, deep, human, insightful and multifaceted research, seeing the necessary connection between the personality, the political and personal climate, and the great breakthrough in the science. I had a rare joy to hear about almost all the great names mentioned here, through the 1980-s, while myself still living in USSR. Then I've learned a great deal about the personalities mentioned here in the book, from my grandfather; being a Jew and a scientist, he had known a lot about the vicious academic reality of this epoch (from the late 1930,ff.) from his own experience. But then, many things were still inaccessible, politically censored, and unknown for the general public (academic or not). I, myself (still in my teens), was very well acknowledged with the fact that it is better not to speak about these scientists in public.
But now, Hargittai's book was for me a rare possibility to learn an unknown facts about the reality these scientists lived and worked; for me, it is also a rare intellectual and personal odyssey into these days, helping to understand an outstanding importance of these discoveries in our days.
The great advantage of this book is also an ability to explain a hard scientific concepts in very accessible way; still, it is very deep. In this way, it is very accessible not only for someone who scientifically trained, but for everyone who is intellectually curious.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x982e3ec4) out of 5 stars The lives of 14 Soviet scientists that achieved world fame during the 20-th century 10 Dec. 2014
By Pichierri Fabio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book narrates the lives of fourteen soviet scientists that achieved world fame for their scientific discoveries. I am fortunate having met one of them, Anatol Zhabotinsky, about 20 years ago at one of his seminars. After the seminar I discussed with him about his work on the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) oscillating reaction, originally discovered by the chemist Boris Belousov. Belousov encountered fierce resistance when he tried to publish his observations and it was fortunate that, later on, Zhabotinsky decided to study the BZ reaction while elucidating its complex mechanism. According to the late Ilya Prigogine, chemistry Nobel prize winner in 1977, the BZ reaction is one of the most important scientific discoveries of 20-th century at the same par as quantum mechanics and relativity. Indeed, the BZ reaction opened up the field of nonlinear chemical dynamics and Zhabotinsky can be rightly considered one of his main founders. It is sad that both Belousov and Zhabotinsky were not awarded the Nobel prize for their great discovery. Another scientist's story inside the book that fascinated me is that of Alexander Kitaigorodsky, a crystallographer and physicist that achieved world renown for his studies on the packing of molecules in crystals; his book Molecular Crystals and Molecules (1973) has greatly influenced the fields of chemical crystallography and crystal engineering. Hargittai is well acquainted with the former Soviet system having himself studied at Moscow University in the 1960s during which time he met several of the top scientists discussed inside the book. Many aspects of their lives as well as the social environment in which they operated are discussed in great detail. The book can be highly recommended to all those interested in the history of science (particularly physics and chemistry) and its social aspects.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97f993f0) out of 5 stars Brilliant minds in dark times 29 May 2015
By Luca turin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good, well-informed and well-written book about some of the scientific giants of Soviet Russia under Stalin and Khrushchev. Many of the characters come to life, and the vignettes are interesting, but Hargittai too often confines himself to CV details like elections to the Academy of Sciences, Orders of Lenin, etc and does not attempt to give the bigger picture of the place of Soviet science on the international scene, nor much context as to what else was happpening in the USSR at the time. To some extent this is forced upon him by the fact that these scientists led very isolated and often secret lives, and could not travel abroad. This book is nevertheless great material for what one hopes someone will write one day: a definitive history of Soviet science.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97f991e0) out of 5 stars A unique glimpse into science in the Soviet empire 16 May 2014
By DR.MAKARA GÁBOR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like stories about eminent scientists and/or Nobel laureates, this is for you. For those who lived in the Eastern block or the Soviet Union this is a reminder to a period of their life. For those who are interested in the mechanisms of the dictatorships, this should be required reading.

I enjoyed reading it. For the fine details, it helps if you have education in the natural sciences, but you do not have to be a chemist or physicist to appreciate the stories.
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