The never-before-told account of the intersection of some of the most insightful minds of the 20th century, and a fascinating look at how war, resistance, and friendship can catalyze genius.
In the spring of 1940, the aspiring but unknown writer Albert Camus and budding scientist Jacques Monod were quietly pursuing ordinary, separate lives in Paris. After the German invasion and occupation of France, both men joined the Resistance to help liberate the country from the Nazis, ascended to prominent, dangerous roles, and were very lucky to survive. After the war and through twists of circumstance, they became friends, and through their passionate determination and rare talent they emerged as leading voices of modern literature and biology, each receiving the Nobel Prize in his respective field.
Drawing upon a wealth of previously unpublished and unknown material gathered over several years of research, Brave Genius tells the story of how Camus and Monod endured the most terrible episode of the twentieth century and then blossomed into remarkably creative and engaged individuals. It is a story of the transformation of ordinary lives into exceptional lives by extraordinary events—of courage in the face of overwhelming adversity, the flowering of creative genius, deep friendship, and profound concern for and insight into the human condition.
About Sean B. CarrollSee more books from this Author
A chronicle of the friendship between writer Albert Camus and biologist Jacques Monod, skillfully combining science, biography and history.Read Full Review of Brave Genius: A Scientist, a ... | See more reviews from Kirkus
“Brave Genius” is briskly paced and ambitiously sprawling, offering potted accounts of historical episodes large and small (the fall of France, the 1956 Hungarian crisis, Camus’s famous feud with Jean-Paul Sartre, the discovery of the double helix), along with finer-grained descriptions of Camus’s and Monod’s work.Read Full Review of Brave Genius: A Scientist, a ... | See more reviews from NY Times
Carroll is convincing about Camus’s influence on Monod’s nontechnical thinking and writing, but the book has no center. The result is a diverting, informative work, but not a satisfying one.Read Full Review of Brave Genius: A Scientist, a ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
The idea for this book—showing how a scientist and a literary philosopher came to recognize each other's projects and purposes—was potentially brilliant, but the execution is odd.Read Full Review of Brave Genius: A Scientist, a ... | See more reviews from WSJ online
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