The Statue Within: An Autobiography

Francois Jacob, Author, Franklin Philip, Translator Basic Books $22.95 (326p) ISBN 978-0-465-08223-0
A French biologist who views science as ""the most elevating . . . revolt against the incoherence of the universe,'' Jacob won the 1965 Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on gene regulation. This gripping, smoothly translated memoir records not only Jacob's professional achievements but seeks to reveal ``the hardest kernel of his character,'' which he likens to an unfinished statue. Against a background of WW II and the dawn of DNA research, Jacob evokes and connects his former selvesthe solitary, imaginative, Parisian schoolboy, the groping adolescent and medical student, the Free French fighter in Africa and the severely wounded survivor who regained his health and discovered his vocation. Along with the intellectual ferment of the laboratory and exchanges with colleagues at international colloquia, Jacob surmises that the breadth of his personal experiences provided a philosophical urgency that contributed to his success as a scientist. A profound humanist, he describes genetic breakthroughs with the same elation as his Saharan battles and the wonder of parenthood. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-0-87969-476-0
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