The Last Man Who Knew Everything by David N. Schwartz
The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age

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Neither eccentric nor introspective, he kept no diary, so little is known of his inner life, but Schwartz has no qualms about speculating. A rewarding, expert biography of a giant of the golden age of physics.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The definitive biography of the brilliant, charismatic, and very human physicist and innovator Enrico Fermi
In 1942, a team at the University of Chicago achieved what no one had before: a nuclear chain reaction. At the forefront of this breakthrough stood Enrico Fermi. Straddling the ages of classical physics and quantum mechanics, equally at ease with theory and experiment, Fermi truly was the last man who knew everything--at least about physics. But he was also a complex figure who was a part of both the Italian Fascist Party and the Manhattan Project, and a less-than-ideal father and husband who nevertheless remained one of history's greatest mentors. Based on new archival material and exclusive interviews, The Last Man Who Knew Everything lays bare the enigmatic life of a colossus of twentieth century physics.
 

About David N. Schwartz

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Published December 5, 2017 by Basic Books. 480 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Last Man Who Knew Everything
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Aug 28 2017

Neither eccentric nor introspective, he kept no diary, so little is known of his inner life, but Schwartz has no qualms about speculating. A rewarding, expert biography of a giant of the golden age of physics.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by RICHARD RHODES on Jan 24 2018

Still, these are minor mistakes. All in all, Schwartz’s biography adds importantly to the literature of the utterly remarkable men and women who opened up nuclear physics to the world.

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The Economist

Good
on Jan 04 2018

It would be easy to depict Fermi as a standard reticent genius who solved every problem as if he had, as one student put it, “an inside track to God”. But Mr Schwartz’s sleuthing also reveals how science works in its proper context...

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