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Force of Nature: Life of Linus Pauling Hardcover – 2 Sep 1996
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A biography of Paulding who roamed across the scientific disciplines, from chemistry to biology to medical research. He decried the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War Two, agitated against nuclear weapons, promoted vitamin C as a cure for the common cold and researched the idea of DNA.
About the Author
Thomas Hager, Director of the Office of Communications at the University of Oregon, is a former contributing editor of American Health and correspondent for the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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But Pauling’s single-mindedness turned to political and social events later in his life. Hager does a great job of explaining why Pauling took on his causes (from anti-war leadership to vitamin C) as well as how the same intense focus in his research sometimes led him later in life in directions that alienated him from his fellow scientists. I had never understood Pauling’s dedication to the idea of vitamin C being the cure-all he claimed it to be. Reading the book made sense of it in the context of Pauling’s life.
This is a first rate biography. I found a couple errors in side issues, among them that Senator Joseph McCarthy was the junior senator from Minnesota. (It was Wisconsin.) But, other than those editorial slips, I highly recommend the book for spelling out the life of one of the most brilliant and unusual American scientists in the last hundred years.
Great book.Recommend to anybody that loves scientific biographies. If you are from Washington State or the Pacific NW, lots of rich history in the first 40 or so pages.