- Series: Mentor
- Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Signet; First Mass Market Edition edition (February 1, 1969)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451627873
- ISBN-13: 978-0451627872
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 222 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Double Helix (Mentor) First Mass Market Edition Edition
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"Science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders," writes James Watson in The Double Helix, his account of his codiscovery (along with Francis Crick) of the structure of DNA. Watson and Crick won Nobel Prizes for their work, and their names are memorized by biology students around the world. But as in all of history, the real story behind the deceptively simple outcome was messy, intense, and sometimes truly hilarious. To preserve the "real" story for the world, James Watson attempted to record his first impressions as soon after the events of 1951-1953 as possible, with all their unpleasant realities and "spirit of adventure" intact.
Watson holds nothing back when revealing the petty sniping and backbiting among his colleagues, while acknowledging that he himself was a willing participant in the melodrama. In particular, Watson reveals his mixed feelings about his famous colleague in discovery, Francis Crick, who many thought of as an arrogant man who talked too much, and whose brilliance was appreciated by few. This is the joy of The Double Helix--instead of a chronicle of stainless-steel heroes toiling away in their sparkling labs, Watson's chronicle gives readers an idea of what living science is like, warts and all. The Double Helix is a startling window into the scientific method, full of insight and wit, and packed with the kind of science anecdotes that are told and retold in the halls of universities and laboratories everywhere. It's the stuff of legends. --Therese Littleton
From Library Journal
First published in 1968, this classic story of the discovery of DNA has never been released as an audiobook.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
All in all a good read, though not the spectacular one I thought it would be.
Written by Dr. James D. Watson in 1968, reprinted several times, this is one of the most intriguing, personal stories of scientific endeavors written to unravel the molecular basis of heredity and the genetic code of life itself, the DNA molecule - deservingly referenced as the Holy Grail of scientific inqiry. With an explanatory apology, Watson describes his maturation from an initial lazy undergraduate at Univ. of Chicago having primary interest in ornithology and avoiding chemistry and physics courses,to doing post-doctoral research abroad, first in Copenhagen and subsequently in Cambridge where he began serious research with Francis Crick that culminated in elucidating the molecular structure of the double helix DNA molecule with base-pairing of A-T and G-C, allowing a model construct possessing correspondence to its X-ray crystalline lattice structure. Much of the time it appeared to a 'Mission Impossible'. Success came in 1953, Watson was then 25 years old.
The author's prose and pace of relating this story reveals the passion of his quest to establish his mark in science - and he relates intimate anecdotes of his cohorts, teachers and the scientific cult of divisions enjoyed by the scholarly, erudite academicians in England and elsewhere. In the end, he shared along with his associate Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins, the Nobel Prize in 1962. The future of medicine was forever changed. The book is a compelling, refrehing read for anyone with a modicum of curiosity - a science background is not essential.