From Publishers Weekly
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"Make[s] the scientific process as suspenseful as a good whodunit."
"[A] smooth, well-researched book that reads like a fast-paced novel."
—News & Observer (Raleigh)
"This scientific adventure spans two world wars and every cell in your body."
"Haber and Bosch are fascinating if troubled personalities, brought by Hager compellingly to life."
—Washington Post Book World
“[A] gripping account of the partnership between two Nobel Prize winners whose efforts to save the world had tragic consequences we’re still sifting through today.”
“You will certainly find [Hager’s] story of [Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch] and their discover to be enlightening and entertaining….I know of few other books that provide the general reader with a better portrait of chemistry as the most useful of sciences, and I intend to recommend it to scientists and non-scientists alike.”
—The Journal of Chemical Education
“Many discoveries and inventions are touted as history-changing. But as Thomas Hager admirably proves in his new book, The Alchemy of Air, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch not only changed history, they made much of recent human history possible. As Hager solemnly notes in his introduction, ‘the discovery described in this book is keeping alive nearly half the people on earth.’ ….As with almost all technological advancement, however, there is a downside. The synthetic Haber-Bosch nitrogen, which now makes up about half the nitrogen in every human body, also fueled the weapons of the world wars and created a nitrogen-rich environment that is having a huge impact on Earth, from lush vegetative growth to dead zones ...