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Maverick Genius

The Pioneering Odyssey of Freeman Dyson

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Description

Scientist. Innovator. Rebel.

For decades, Freeman Dyson has been regarded as one of the world's most important thinkers. The Atlantic wrote, "In the range of his genius, Freeman Dyson is heir to Einstein - a visionary who has reshaped thinking in fields from math to astrophysics to medicine, and who has conceived nuclear-propelled spaceships designed to transport human colonists to distance planets." Salon.com says that, "what sets Dyson apart among an elite group of scientists is the conscience and compassion he brings to his work." Now, in this first complete biography of Dyson, author Phillip F. Schewe examines the life of a man whose accomplishments have shaped our world in many ways.

From quantum physics to national defense, from space to biotechnology, Dyson's work has cemented his position as a man whose influence goes far beyond the field of theoretical physics. It even won him the million dollar Templeton prize for his writing about science and religion. Recently, Dyson has made headlines for his controversial views on global warming, and he continues to make waves in the science community to this day.
A colleague of Albert Einstein at Princeton and friends with leading thinkers including Robert Oppenheimer, George F. Kennan, and Richard Feynman, Freeman Dyson is a larger-than-life figure. Many of his colleagues, including Nobelists Steven Weinberg and Frank Wilczek, as well as his wives and his children, Esther and George Dyson, have been interviewed for this book. Maverick Genius, Schewe's definitive biography, paints a compelling and vibrant portrait of a man who has been both praised for his genius and criticized for his unorthodox views.

Publishers Weekly Review

Dec 17, 2012 – Freeman Dyson is a Renaissance man—he’s worked in mathematics, physics, and theology, and in the long course of his career, his advice has been sought on issues ranging from global warming to national defense. This book follows his trajectory through the post-WWII nuclear age, the turbulent 1960s, and the cold war, and up to the present day, but while Schewe (The Grid) has certainly done his research (and made his physics acumen clear), Dyson the man is often dwarfed by his deeds. One reason could be Dyson’s polite refusal to be interviewed for the book—he figured it was too early “to tell whether I did anything important.” Schewe did, however, have the cooperation of his family. Thus, like the Dyson sphere, a hypothetical system of satellites arranged around a star for the purpose of collecting energy from its center, the portrait that comes to light is a circumambulatory one, comprising some personal details; sketches of his relationships with friends, family, and colleagues; enumerations of his many awards; meticulous explanations of the complicated science behind his groundbreaking projects; and elucidations of his fascinating ideas. Schewe can’t be blamed for the scope of his subject—after all, Dyson’s odyssey is indeed far-ranging. But without the pioneer himself, the landscape—mind-boggling, inspirational, and compelling as it is—remains intimidatingly wild. 16 pages of b&w photos.
Maverick Genius
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Feb 26, 2013
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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