In this study of the careers of Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier, the author has set himself an unreasonably complicated task to which his powers of imagination and discipline prove inadequate. In fact, failure is manifest in the fuzzy thinking and entanglements of the introduction. He deplores the amorality of technology, and feels that by treating Priestley and Lavoisier, whose careers were the basis of modern science, he may be able to reveal what is central to international issues and attitudes among the scientists of today. He wants to examine the historical milieu of these two men and evaluate its ultimate significance. Surprisingly, he hasn't structured this book to develop such themes. Rather, it is a chronologically oriented double biography in awkward prose that runs to trivia. The research may have been thorough, but the results are exasperatingly unsynthesized.