Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, the Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare

3.99 avg rating
( 105 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780060562724: Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, the Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare

FRITZ HABER -- a Nobel laureate in chemistry, a friend of Albert Einstein, a German Jew and World War I hero -- may be the most important scientist you have never heard of. The Haber-Bosch process, which he invented at the turn of the twentieth century, revolutionized agriculture by converting nitrogen to fertilizer in quantities massive enough to feed the world. The invention has become an essential pillar for life on earth; some two billion people on our planet could not survive without it. Yet this same process supplied the German military with explosives during World War I, and Haber orchestrated Germany's use of an entirely new weapon -- poison gas. Eventually, Haber's efforts led to Zyklon B, the gas later used to kill millions -- including Haber's own relatives -- in Nazi concentration camps.

Haber is the patron saint of guns and butter, a scientist whose discoveries transformed the way we produce food and fight wars. His legacy is filled with contradictions, as was his personality. For some, he was a benefactor of humanity and devoted friend. For others, he was a war criminal, possessed by raw ambition. An intellectual gunslinger, enamored of technical progress and driven by patriotic devotion to Germany, he was instrumental in the scientific work that inadvertently supported the Nazi cause; a Jew and a German patriot, he was at once an enabler of the Nazi regime and its victim.

Master Mind is a thought-provoking biography of this controversial scientist, a modern Faust who personifies the paradox of science, its ability to create and to destroy. It offers a complete chronicle of his tumultuous and ultimately tragic life, from his childhood and rise to prominence in the heady days of the German Empire to his disgrace and exile at the hands of the Nazis; from early decades as the hero who eliminated the threat of starvation to his lingering legacy as a villain whose work led to the demise of millions.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Daniel Charles is the author of Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food and a former technology correspondent for National Public Radio and the New Scientist. He lives in Washington, D.C.

From Publishers Weekly:

Fritz Haber (1868–1934), winner of the 1918 Nobel Prize for chemistry, was, in Charles's eyes, a "modern Faust": "willing to serve any master who could further his passion for knowledge and progress." Having discovered how to manufacture nitrogen-based fertilizer, which allowed the increase of crop production needed to feed an exploding human population, he also developed the first poison gas, used infamously in WWI at Ypres on April 22, 1915. It's this harrowing moral thicket that most fascinates Charles (Lords of the Harvest) in this overly sympathetic biography of the first "scientist-warrior." Haber was passionately committed to German nationalism (Jewish by birth, he converted to Christianity in order to assimilate), and he devoted his skills to Germany's cause in WWI. Approximately a week after Ypres Haber's wife, a scientist believed to have opposed the use of poison gas, committed suicide. Charles, a former NPR correspondent, strays from objectivity, frequently offering his own judgments and opinions, and he sees Haber's life as a cautionary tale: "[S]ometimes," he concludes, "it is the duty of an honest scientist" to refuse to put science in the service of national military goals."B&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Daniel Charles
Published by Ecco (2005)
ISBN 10: 0060562722 ISBN 13: 9780060562724
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 11
Seller:
DIANE Publishing Co.
(Darby, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ecco, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New. 100% Money Back Guarantee! Ships within 1 business day, includes tracking. Carefully packed. Serving satisfied customers since 1987. Bookseller Inventory # 100000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
46.35
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Daniel Charles
Published by Ecco (2005)
ISBN 10: 0060562722 ISBN 13: 9780060562724
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ecco, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060562722

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
56.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.02
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Daniel Charles
Published by Ecco (2005)
ISBN 10: 0060562722 ISBN 13: 9780060562724
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ecco, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0060562722

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
71.70
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Charles, Daniel
Published by Ecco (2005)
ISBN 10: 0060562722 ISBN 13: 9780060562724
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ecco, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110060562722

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
71.21
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 1.51
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds