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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a great adventurer, 26 Mar 2009
By 
Christian Jongeneel (Rotterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
After reading this delightful biography one cannot help wondering what Desmond Bernal actually was. Just because he spent most of carreer at Cambridge studying rontgen-cristallography - to which he made important contributions, just short of winning him a Nobel - doesn't make him a scientist.

Rather he was an adventurer who happened to be good at physics and mathematics. So after doing a lot of the planning for D-day he went for Normandy himself, spending just a couple of days before leaving for the Pacific front of WWII to do the planning there. His military carreer stopped shortly after the war, as he remained a staunch communist, applauding Stalin even after his death. It didn't stop him to lead a James Bond kind of live when it came to women.

Andrew Brown has done a really fine job in portraying this multitalented man, who is easily overlooked in the history of science or war, just because he wasn't the kind of person who would dedicate himself completely to one cause (or person).
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this above all else this Christmas!, 5 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: J. D. Bernal: The Sage of Science (Hardcover)
This fine book is lucidly and beautifully written. Subjects like this can be daunting for the non-scientist, but even these aspects are elegantly explained. And it is by no means all about science - Bernal was, it seems, a swordsman of prodigious appetites, which must surely make him a gift for portrayal in some trashy Hollywood flick. His scientific contributions to the Second World War effort are engagingly described, and his ludicrous politics laid bare.
If you can't read it yourself, give it to that bright but hormonally charged nephew of yours.
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J. D. Bernal: The Sage of Science
J. D. Bernal: The Sage of Science by Andrew Brown (Hardcover - 24 Nov 2005)
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