This volume...will be useful not only to cell biologists interested in the embryology of their field, but also to theorists and historians of science concerned with the boundaries of fields of intellectual inquiry.
"For decades historians have been preoccupied with genetics and molecular biology. However, mitochondria, ribosomes, Golgi bodies, and lysosomes explain the life processes of the cell; DNA does so only peripherally. This is their much needed story."
-Douglas Allchin, Isis
"Historians will appreciate Bechtel's thorough research in the archives of the Rochefeller Foundation and the American Society for Cell Biology, as well as his use of oral history interviews with some of the principal scientists...Cell biologists especially welcome this new history of their field."
-Lindley Darden, University of Maryland, Journal of the History of Biology
Between 1940 and 1970, pioneers in the new field of cell biology discovered the operative parts of cells and their contributions to cell life. William Bechtel emphasizes how mechanisms were discovered by cell biologists, focusing especially on the way in which new instrumentsNthe ultracentrifuge and the electron microscopeNmade these inquiries possible. He also describes how scientists organized new journals and professional societies to provide an institutional structure to the new enterprise.