LISE MEITNER, ATOMIC PIONEER by Deborah Crawford

LISE MEITNER, ATOMIC PIONEER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Elucidating the progress of nuclear science in the course of chronicling the life of a woman physicist whose work laid the foundation for the development of the atomic bomb, this good-humored, volatile biography tells a difficult story with ease. Technical material is interwoven with the personal--the problematic position of any female in the Kaiser's Germany interested in study, teaching, and research in a university; Dr. Meitner's innocent chauvinism during World War I and frightened exile in Sweden on Hitler's persecution of even Austrian-born Jews like herself before World War II; her conflict over the issue of moral responsibility for creating a weapon of indeterminate destructive powers, albeit unwittingly. The writing, though somewhat too chatty, is consistently entertaining, including anecdotes about everything and everyone from Einstein and the Curies to the origin of the words ""fink"" and ""barbiturate."" Most significant, however, is the enthusiastic and responsible tracing of the major discoveries in physics from the early twentieth century until Dr. Meitner's death in 1968, all particularly intelligible to inquiring lay minds because they are approached in the specific context of one life.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Crown