The Life It Brings: One Physicist's Beginnings

Jeremy Bernstein, Author
Jeremy Bernstein, Author Ticknor & Fields $16.45 (171p) ISBN 978-0-89919-470-7
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
Bernstein's books include works on Einstein, Hans Bethe, elementary particlesand mountain climbing. This New Yorker staff writer and teacher seems utterly guileless in this midcareer memoir of his early years, carrying his story to the threshold of the 1960s when he lived in Paris and was preoccupied with three activities: women, tennis and physics. At this time he collaborated with the great physicist Murray Gell-Mann, who was deep in quarks and ""strangeness.'' Bernstein apparently sees this phase of maturity (he is now in his 50s) as marking the end of his ``beginnings'': from a Rochester, N.Y., boyhoodthe son an eminent rabbithrough Harvard and half-hearted stabs at a career in physics. Important glimpses of famous physicists are most telling here, notably the author's unfavorable views of Edward Teller and intriguing closeups of J. Robert Oppenheimer vs. Joe McCarthy. Photos. (March 14)
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