Genes, Girls, and Gamow
After the Double Helix
By James D. Watson
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375727153, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 7, 2003
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In the years following his and Francis Crick’s towering discovery of DNA, James Watson was obsessed with finding two things: RNA and a wife. Genes, Girls, and Gamow is the marvelous chronicle of those pursuits. Watson effortlessly glides between his heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious debacles in the field of love and his heady inquiries in the field of science. He also reflects with touching candor on some of science’s other titans, from fellow Nobelists Linus Pauling and the incorrigible Richard Feynman to Russian physicist George Gamow, who loved whiskey, limericks, and card tricks as much as he did molecules and genes. What emerges is a refreshingly human portrait of a group of geniuses and a candid, often surprising account of how science is done.
James D. Watson is president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, he has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, and, with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 1962.
“A priceless glimpse into the intellectual circle that nurtured [Watson’s] revolutionary paradigm.” –The New York Times Book Review
“A fun-filled saga that substitutes Mercedes roadsters and molecular biology for the fear and loathing of gonzo master Hunter S. Thompson.” –San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“There are scores of wonderful tidbits. . . . To his credit, Watson never spares himself.” –The Washington Post Book World
“Bring[s] to life the amazing brain trust . . . that included American chemist Linus Pauling, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman and Russian-born theoretical physicist George 'Geo' Gamow.” –Chicago Tribune
“An essential coda to The Double Helix.” –The Boston Globe