In Praise of Imperfection: My Life and Work

Rita Levi-Montalcini, Author Basic Books $18.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-465-03217-4
A shy, sensitive Jew who grew up in Fascist Italy, the author overcame anti-Semitic repression and her country's relative scientific immaturity, winning the 1986 Nobel Prize in medicine for her work on the nervous system. After Mussolini's racial laws stripped Levi-Montalcini of her academic post, she set up a small, clandestine laboratory in a Piedmont farmhouse where she carried out her fruitful research. Her firsthand account of her country's knuckling under to Hitler is calm and courageous. In 1946, she left Italy for St. Louis, and this earnest, talkative autobiography offers a detailed picture of the growth of modern experimental neurobiology. In 1963, Levi-Montalcini returned to Rome to live with her twin sister and continue her research. Mirroring her scientific credo that imperfection and unpredictability are the yeast of human evolution, her story unfolds a rich, unpredictable life. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-465-03218-1
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