The Periodic Table

Front Cover
Michael Joseph, 1986 - Authors, Italian - 194 pages
14 Reviews
In these haunting reflections, Primo Levi, a chemist by training takes the elements of the periodic table as his inspiration. He ranges from young love to political savagery; 'Iron' honours the mountain-climbing resistance hero who put iron in Levi's student soul, while 'Cerium' recalls the improvised cigarette lighters which saved his life in Auschwitz.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
8
4 stars
4
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - EmreSevinc - LibraryThing

Only after I finished the book have I learned that the Royal Institution of Great Britain named it the best science book ever in 2006. I, for one, have no objection! Reading this book in 2016 as a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mbmackay - LibraryThing

This is a quirky book by an Italian survivor of Auschwitz. Rated as one of the best science books ever written, I found it worked better when viewed as a memoir. Levi had written elsewhere of his war ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1986)

Primo Leviwas born in Turin in 1919. The son of an educated middle-class Jewish family, he graduated with a degree in chemistry and found a job as a research chemist in Milan. In December 1943, he was arrested as part of the anti-fascist resistance and deported to Auschwitz. After the war, Levi resumed his career as a chemist, retiring only in 1975.

His graphic account of his time in Auschwitz, If This Is a Man, was published in 1947 and he went on to write many other books, including If Not Now, When? and The Periodic Table, emerging not only as one of the most profound and haunting commentators on the Holocaust, but as a great writer on many twentieth-century themes. In 1987, Primo Levi died in a fall that is widely believed to have been suicide.

Bibliographic information