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Don’t try this at home

Gavin Francis: Adrenaline, 29 August 2013

Adrenaline 
by Brian Hoffman.
Harvard, 298 pp., £18.95, April 2013, 978 0 674 05088 4
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... to be clamped: otherwise a life-threatening quantity of adrenaline could escape into the patient. Brian Hoffman, a professor of medicine at Harvard, describes not just the process by which adrenaline was identified, purified and became clinically useful, but also supplies a series of biographies of the individuals who made it happen. In the 1880s a ...

Short Cuts

Norman Dombey: False Intelligence, 19 February 2004

... recognised them as trucks bought from Marconi for filling balloons with hydrogen. David Kelly and Brian Jones were not the only ones to have doubts about the dossier: similar doubts were expressed by nuclear experts. We shall see what the Butler committee finds. Where were the bogus stories about Iraq’s supposed nuclear programme coming from? In the case of ...

Journos de nos jours

Anthony Howard, 8 March 1990

Alan Moorehead 
by Tom Pocock.
Bodley Head, 311 pp., £16.95, February 1990, 0 370 31261 9
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Loyalties: A Son’s Memoir 
by Carl Bernstein.
Macmillan, 254 pp., £15.95, January 1990, 0 333 52135 8
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Downstart 
by Brian Inglis.
Chatto, 298 pp., £15.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3390 2
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... also rates as a journalistic superstar, though his fame may have faded a little since Dustin Hoffman represented him in that film, and Jack Nicholson represented him in a later one. He is quite open about the difficulties he has subsequently experienced, making it clear that he started out trying to write this book almost a decade and a half ago and laid ...

Fortress Mathematica

Brian Rotman: John Nash and Paul Erdos, 17 September 1998

The Man who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth 
by Paul Hoffman.
Fourth Estate, 320 pp., £12.99, July 1998, 1 85702 811 2
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Proofs from the Book 
by Martin Aigner and Günter Ziegler.
Springer, 210 pp., £19, August 1998, 3 540 63698 6
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A Beautiful Mind: Genius and Schizophrenia in the Life of John Nash 
by Sylvia Nasar.
Faber, 464 pp., £17.99, September 1998, 0 571 17794 8
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... more mathematical papers (over 1500) than any mathematician in history. His life, as told in Paul Hoffman’s breezy, informative and very readable biography, appears as one long anecdote. On the day he was born, his two young sisters died of scarlet fever and his mother, fearful for him, kept him at home and allowed him free rein. At three he could multiply ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld, 22 January 2015

... who would now be seen a natural performer for the television age, Patrick Moore channelled by Brian Blessed, sinks a shaft in Sussex, going deeper than anyone has gone before, to prove that ‘the world upon which we live is itself a living organism, endowed … with a circulation, a respiration, and a nervous system of its own.’ Challenger’s dig ...

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