Physical optics"" is, scientifically speaking, a world apart, so far as I am concerned, but I found this biography of its greatest exponent an exciting experience. Dr. Wood, genius, showman, practical joker -- and sincerely conservative when it comes to the field of science proper, makes ideal material for Seabrook as biographer, for Seabrook, while not a scientist, has a faculty for seizing upon the dramatic, the human, and at the same time, for making the scientific aspects of his subject absorbing for readers whether versed in the subject themselves or not. En route to achieving his successive goals in his special field, Dr. Wood has made signal contributions to civilization through his invention of the Electric Thaw, fish eye views, sundry phases in telescopes, photography, radio, motion pictures, color photography. The last war owed a debt to him in work down for the signal corps, in development of methods to determine hidden writing, in the measurement of the velocity of shells. Aerodynamics, today, has its debt to pay. He has made sensational exposes of electrical and medical hokum; bombs and murder mysteries. He has even done convincing experimentation in the psychological field in association memory fixation. Astrophysics, the application of ultraviolet and infrared rays and numerous other discoveries in the realm of physics are part of his fame. As a human being -- aside from his scientific importance -- he makes good reading, though, for his family and friends, he must at times make exhausting living. A book for anyone who likes life stories of interesting people, for all scientists interested in their fellow scientists, for older boys with a bent in the direction of frontiers of discovery.