Linus Pauling: A Man and His Science

Anthony Serafini, Author, Anthony Yerafini, Author, Isaac Asimov, Foreword by Paragon House Publishers $22.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-913729-88-5
Pauling's hotly contested crusade for the supposed therapeutic value of vitamin C has overshadowed his pioneering contributions to science. His researches into sickle-cell anemia and the biochemical roots of mental illness, his investigations of DNA and the architecture of polypeptide chains, his applications of quantum mechanics to the nature of the chemical bond are the stuff of this solid, workmanlike biography. Serafini, who has written for Omni and other magazines, seems uncomfortable with Pauling's leftist politics, as he covers the charismatic scientist's anti-McCarthyist stances, his campaign for nuclear disarmament and commitment to other causes. Was Pauling involved in a losing race to unravel the structure of DNA? The tantalizing evidence here suggests he was, though most historians and scientists deny this. We also get glimpses of Pauling's acrimonious scientific rivalries, his occasional arrogance and tendency to self-promotion. As for vitamin C, Serafini's thorough appraisal finds that while the evidence is inconclusive, the controversy is ``still very much alive.'' Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 978-1-55778-440-7
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-595-00101-9
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