It's a shame this book is out of print. And it's a shame that so few people today recognize the name George Gamow.For those of you who don't, George Gamow was sort of the Carl Sagan of the 1950s. He wrote many books on Physics aimed at a lay audience, all of which are still entertaining today (although somewhat out of date.) But Gamow was much more than just a popularizer of science. He made many important contributions to various areas of science, covering such diverse topics as the Big Bang Theory and DNA.In "My World Line..." Gamow writes of his early life in Russia, and how he came to realize that in order to fully pursue his science he would have to escape that country. (One such attempt to flee almost ended in his death.) Of course he eventually does leave Russia, hooks up with Niels Bohr in Denmark, and...But to say anymore would be telling. If you enjoy reading about the history of science, this is one book you truly want to track down. George Gamow was quite a guy.
I had been searching for this book since my undergraduate days when I studied nuclear physics, but was unable to have a chance until I entered a Western university a few years later. It did not disappoint me after the long-time waiting, not at all.Putting the exciting physics stories aside, this book is also an excellent "teaching book" for the young, ambitious people on how to deal with extremely difficult situations, how to make key decisions in one's life and career, no matter you are a high school student or a physicist -- so serious stuff ! It is a pity Gamow didn't get Nobel Prize (he deserves it), otherwise, this little treasure book would have been more popular, just like his Mr.Tompkins books. Now, you most likely find it only in a university library --- in the phyics department.
I was lucky to find a hardcover edition of this little book in a used bookstore in Palo Alto.
This book is instructive and entertaining -- you do not get bored by reading it. At some point you are surprised by the hardship that he had to go through. It is full of anectodes about his attempted escape from the Soviet Union by kayak, some peculiar details about his first encounter with Rutherford and Niels Bohr, etc. This book is written in a lively style rarely done by biographers.
This is too bad he never got the Nobel Prize -- I believe he would have written quite an entertaining speech.
Very interesting book... especially for scientists and for Russians. I was amazed to know that George was a colonel of Soviet Army. Surely, his book and way of presentation is on par with joyful style of Richard Feynman. I wish it is translated to Russian and published in Russia. (I had difficulty to translate some of his verses which were originally in Russian but translated for English speaking readers )