The life of Joseph Priestley veered from pulpit to laboratory. A minister and Dissenter, he was deeply involved in the political thought of his day and served several congregations. His early scientific experiments were in the field of electricity. Among the gases he isolated and dissected were nitrous oxide, ammonia, sulfur oxide, and carbon monoxide. How he performed his many experiments is carefully reiterated, climaxed by his discovery of oxygen and the ensuing controversy with Lavoisier. There is undoubtedly good, researched information here, but the writing is so heavy-handed that the overall effect is exceedingly dull.