Marie Curie was not only the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, she won two–in 1903 and 1911. Though her work was neglected by the scientific establishment in Paris, she made pioneering discoveries in the field of radioactivity and discovered two elements, Radium and Polonium. Her life is a story of passioned commitment, deep insight and personal tragedy. In this illustrated biography, I paint a portrait of a more dynamic and politically engaged Curie than the isolated genius who persists in popular myth.
Voted Outstanding Academic Title of 2003 by Choice, the journal of academic libraries. Translated into Japanese, Korean and Spanish.
Another biography of Marie Curie would seem superfluous, but this one has some distinct advantages for readers seeking a short, intelligent, and accessible story of her life and her contributions to science. It also contains some interesting photographs helpful to the text and not readily available elsewhere. Using many quotations from letters written both by Marie Curie and her husband Pierre, Dry chronicles Curie’s contributions to scientific thought as well as her private life and something of her political passion, all in a brisk but inviting text that invites the reader into the cultural context in which the Curies lived. Also included is an essay about Irene Joliot-Curie, their oldest daughter, who also received a Nobel Prize but suffered a period of neglect due to her political sympathies. The book’s virtues are its scholarly scrupulousness combined with a graceful style, its substance despite its brevity, and a chronology of Curie’s life and achievement paired with the larger cultural context, the works of contemporary thinkers, artists, and writers. Well-documented sources; suggestions for further reading that include both primary and secondary sources. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates. Copyright 2003.–American Library Association