Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age (Macmillan Science)

3.8 out of 5 stars 24 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0230551923
ISBN-10: 0230551920
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Editorial Reviews


'At last, the definitive, unstinting biography of this hugely important historical figure - complete with all his contradictions and idiosyncrasies.' - Michael Riordan, coauthor of Crystal Fire

'Shurkin deftly tackles this complex figure - and his unraveling - and delivers an unflinching portrait of a tragic life.' - Seed Magazine

'Shurkin does a good job of portraying a difficult man - a vivid portrait.'- NewScientist

'The other wonderful thing about this book is that it manages to convey the excitement of scientific inquiry and invention.' - New York Sun

'Shurkin is a good storyteller, and better still as a researcher of the personal facts.' - Nobel Laureate Professor Philip Anderson, Times Higher Educational Supplement

'FIVE STARS: this gripping biography gives a balanced picture of the most bizarre of the great names of electronics. Recommended.' - Brian Clegg, author of The God Effect and Light Years

'I recommend it to people curious about the history of technology and the computer or anyone interested in a rise and fall of truly epic proportions.' - Cory Ondrejka, CTO Linden Labs/Second Life

'This portrait of a flawed giant reveals a man crushed under the weight of his own pathological insecurities.' - David Bodanis, Discover

'Masterfully walks the fine line between presenting Shockley as purely evil and legitimizing his more controversial theories - very readable.' - Physics World

'Shurkin reveals Shockley to be a fascinating example of an Aristotelian tragic hero - riveting.' - Nature

'This informed and candid biography asks, 'Why did a man so brilliant deliberately destroy himself?'' - Skeptical Inquiry

About the Author

JOEL N. SHURKIN is Science Writer Emeritus at Stanford University, USA, where he has written and taught for many years. He covered the moon landings for Reuters, served ten years as Science Writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer and was on the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for covering Three Mile Island, among many other awards. He has written nine books including Terman's Kids (Little, Brown) about the study of gifted students, Invisible Fire, on the eradication of smallpox, a science-fiction novel called The Helix (Norton) and most recently A Consumer's Guide to Psychotherapy (OUP). His definitive history of the computer, Engines of the Mind (Norton), is in multiple editions in several languages.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
  • Paperback : 297 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0230551920
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0230551923
  • Product Dimensions : 8.94 x 6.17 x 0.9 inches
  • Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan (June 13, 2006)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.8 out of 5 stars 24 ratings