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The Double Helix [Norton Critical Edition]…
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The Double Helix [Norton Critical Edition]

by James D. Watson, Gunther S. Stent (Editor)

Other authors: Sir Lawrence Bragg (Introduction), Jacob Bronowski (Contributor), Alex Comfort (Contributor), Francis Crick (Contributor), Mary Ellmann (Contributor)20 more, F. X. S. (Contributor), R. E. Franklin (Contributor), Rosalind E. Franklin (Contributor), R.G. Gosling (Contributor), Aaron Klug (Contributor), John Lear (Contributor), Richard C. Lewontin (Contributor), André Lwoff (Contributor), Peter B. Medawar (Contributor), Robert K. Merton (Contributor), Philip Morrison (Contributor), Linus Pauling (Contributor), Max F. Perutz (Contributor), Robert L. Sinsheimer (Contributor), A.R. Stokes (Contributor), Walter Sullivan (Contributor), Conrad H. Waddington (Contributor), J. H. F. Wilkins (Contributor), M.H.F. Wilkins (Contributor), H.R. Wilson (Contributor)

Series: Norton Critical Editions

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James Watson's love letter to himself, as he explains to us exactly how he single-handedly solved the structure of DNA, with the insignificant help of a cast of baboons, clowns, and women. Watson's small book is interesting as a historical piece, though it is necessary to take at least some of it with a grain of salt, and read other viewpoints, because his is strongly skewed toward the hero of his work...himself. The insights into this man of not insignificant talent is enlightening, and disheartening, as we see an unpleasant facet that sometimes accompanies genius and accomplishment: the inability to recognize that there were others who were crucial to your success. The book paints a very clear picture of a truly ugly person, who was only one of the geniuses involved, but is unable to recognize that fact. ( )
  Devil_llama | Apr 26, 2011 |
Very interesting if you know your chemistry. If you don't you may not know all the background. Watson fudges quite a few details, either intentionally or not, to give less credit to other scientists. Still, a fascinating and lively look into the lab. ( )
  daizylee | Jan 25, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James D. Watsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Stent, Gunther S.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bragg, Sir LawrenceIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bronowski, JacobContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Comfort, AlexContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crick, FrancisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellmann, MaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
F. X. S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Franklin, R. E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Franklin, Rosalind E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gosling, R.G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klug, AaronContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lear, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewontin, Richard C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lwoff, AndréContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Medawar, Peter B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Merton, Robert K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrison, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pauling, LinusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perutz, Max F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sinsheimer, Robert L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stokes, A.R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sullivan, WalterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waddington, Conrad H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilkins, J. H. F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilkins, M.H.F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, H.R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Norton critical editions contain significant extra materials. Please do not combine with the main work. Only NCE, no second edition.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393950751, Paperback)

"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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

By identifying the structure of DNA, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won a Nobel Prize. All the time Watson was only twenty-four, a young zoologist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of sciences' greatest unsolved mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries. With humility unspoiled by false modesty, Watson relates his and Crick's desperate efforts to beat Linus Pauling to the identification of the basic building block of life.… (more)

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