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David Kaiser: Paul Dirac

26 February 2009
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius 
by Graham Farmelo.
Faber, 539 pp., £22.50, January 2009, 978 0 571 22278 0
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... father for Felix’s death. The Dirac household was crushingly joyless. Paul’s cold and authoritarian father spent decades in open feud with his mother. Drawing on a stash of family correspondence, Farmelo documents the efforts made by Dirac’s mother to gain solace from her younger son. She leaned on him for emotional support that few people in their teens or early twenties could be expected to ...

Fat Man

Steven Shapin: Churchill’s Bomb

26 September 2013
Churchill’s Bomb: A Hidden History of Science, War and Politics 
by Graham Farmelo.
Faber, 554 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 571 24978 7
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... devoted to a nuclear programme, and the political implications of things that might have happened if Britain had made its own Bomb, not least the effect on postwar relations with the United States. GrahamFarmelo’s dense but compelling Churchill’s Bomb isn’t counterfactual history, but it bears a family resemblance to the genre. It is a study of four related British ‘failures’ in the Second ...

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