Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track Paperback – April 25, 2006
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
school graduate, before Feynman or after Feynman. He was the master "story teller" and "guru" of physics during
his lifetime. Many short subjects are covered in this excellent publication, including most of his best magazine
articles and lectures. His review of math text books, near the end, could stand up even today, since most current
math textbooks used in schools nationwide have the same problems he detailed in his great critique. Once you
start reading this tome, it is difficult to put it down, even when you need to get some sleep. It is that good.
This is a book I will read again. We lost a very unique mind and soul in 1988, way too early, in my opinion.
These sort of refreshing reminders are particularly important today when "string theory" is all the rage, as popularised by Brian Greene et al, a theory which, even Greene admits, will probably not be testable in your or my lifetime.-Feynman, terse as always in such matters, expresses his opinion about string theory in one of these letters---"I don't believe in it." It is ironic that Greene cites Feynman so often in his books.
But String theory aside, Feynman enthusiasts will find perhaps a wider, more three-dimensional perspective in these letters than in other books.---They will find, in his letters to friends students admirers etc., wonder of wonders - a wise, articulate man.
Top international reviews
Michelle Feynman, his daughter, has done an excellent job of collating the letters, and some other papers, within significant time frames and of providing context with the briefest possible explanatory notes.
The title refers to Feynman's views on teaching methods for high school students, as exemplified in his disagreement with Michelle's teacher over the acceptability and merits of said child's occasionally inventive approach to algebra problems. It does also encapsulate perfectly the man's creative and inquisitive persistence, no matter what the task in hand: persistence so productive when directed at academic enquiry, so inspiring in the lecture room, but so baffling when let loose within the realms of political or administrative convention.
The most enjoyable thing about reading these letters is the sheer niceness that they convey, to friends or family, of course, but also (and especially) when replying to letters from people he had never met: people uncertain of their capabilities, ambitions or understanding. That a man of such genius could take time to write long responses to questions from a child, a struggling teacher, even an outright crank, is a cause of fresh amazement every time it happens.
It shouldn't be, of course. That compulsion to provide real understanding was the bedrock motivation of his lectures, his books, his devoted advisory work on education. As with the formal lectures, these brief notes on problems composed for individual correspondents always take a fresh look at some aspect of the subject. (Well, they certainly made me think, anyway.)
Do read this book of Feynman's letters if you have liked any of his other works, whether his lectures or lighter stories.
For a much better review than mine, one written by a physicist who knew and loved the man 'this side idolatry', read chapter 23 of Freeman Dyson's "The Scientist As Rebel", another superb book.
Ces lettres ont été choisies par sa fille, Michelle, et bien que cet ouvrage soit publié après plusieurs livres sur Feyman, c'est celui que je recommande de lire en premier, puisque formant la biographie la plus fidèle à l'homme qu'il était. Sa lettre sur le projet Manhattan est fascinante.
Une contenu conséquent puisque le livre contient pas loin de 500 pages. On sourit tout du long, très souvent surpris par les réponses de Feynman qui n'hésite pas à envoyer ballader les gens quand il le faut. On imagine sans peine sans sourire amusé, presque carnassier, dans certaines réponses. Ce livre est un véritable trésor. Rempli d'humour.