Acid Tongues and Tranquil Dreamers: Eight Scientific Rivalries That Changed the World

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HarperCollins, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 430 pages
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As George Bernard Shaw said, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." Like other creative geniuses, scientists have achieved breakthroughs as a result of irrational motives -- notably the desire to best a rival. Revealing how each resulted in extraordinary discoveries, Michael White explores eight all-too-human rivalries over the past four centuries:

ISAAC NEWTON vs. GOTTFRIED LEIBNIZ
ANTOINE LAVOISIER vs. JOSEPH PRIESTLEY
CHARLES DARWIN vs. RICHARD OWEN
THOMAS EDISON vs. NIKOLA TESLA
THE ALLIES vs. THE AXIS POWERS
FRACIS CRICK and JAMES WATSON vs. LINUS PAULING vs. ROSALIND FRANKLIN and MAURICE WILKINS
THE UNITED STATES vs. THE SOVIET UNION
BILL GATES vs. LARRY ELLISON

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About the author (2001)

Michael White is a British writer. He was born in 1959 and studied at King's College London. He has been a science editor of British GQ and a columnist for the Sunday Express in London. From 1984 to 1991, he was a science lecturer at d'Overbroeck's College in Oxford before becoming a full-time writer, of both fiction and non-fiction. Among his non-fiction works are: Coffee with Newton, Galileo Antichrist: A Biography, The Fruits of War, Tolkien: A Biography, Leonardo: The First Scientist, and Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer. White also collaborated with John Gribbin on 'A Life in Science' Series, featuring biographies of Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin. His novels include: The Art of Murder, The Borgia Ring, The Medici Secret, and Equinox. He has also written numerous novels under pseudonyms, including; the E-Force trilogy as Sam Fisher, and The Titanic Enigma, as Tom west. Most recently, White co-wrote the international bestseller Private down Under, with James Patterson.

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