Probably one of the best as far as the storyline goes. Really very interesting
I thought it was fascinating to read how Haber developed poison gas for use by the Germans in World War I. Haber then developed a system for deploying/distributing the gas, and supervised the release of the gas at the front lines. Haber's wife committed suicide, using his service revolver, soon after the chemical warfare was initiated.
There are parts of the book that sound like an "Introduction to Chemistry" textbook. An understanding of the chemistry involved helped tell the story. Although engrossing, this was not a book that I personally would have enjoyed in "one sitting".
This was an all-round fascinating biography of a man whose discoveries/inventions have had both positive and negative impact of the lives of millions (if not billions) of people. Highly Recommended!
This is a good overview of the development of the Haber Bosch process, which is central to modern agriculture and thus society as we know it. The book is a little brief, but gives a good overview. Haber, who developed the small scale process, led a very conflicting life. His invention fed the world but also led to ability to make endless munitions. Assimilation was central to his German identity, only to embrace his Jeweshness as his life came to an end. The author could have played up these dichoties and created a more compelling narative, but that would have likely been less honest. Bosch was the man who took Haber's impractical process and scaled it up. Haber even admits that he didn't think that would be possible.
Aside from the personal stories, this book shows how determination can take a seemingly impossible physical process and turn it into a reality. I am interested in the future of fuels, and one of the things that interested me about this book were the parallels between the difficulties that Bosch encountered and the difficulties that our society faces as we try to use similar technology (Fischer Tropsch) to generate fuel from CO2. This book makes it sound like Bosch was a man who could have turned CO2 into fuel economically, given an adequate source of cheap energy.
Very interesting story. I never eralized the importance of nitrogen to agriculture or to munitions.
No. Naration is stodgy, odd and distracting.
This is a well written book about a super interesting story of something that keeps halve the world population alive (artificial fertilizer) and you have probably never heard off. To me this was a great eye opener about why battles were fought over an island of bird poop on the coast of south america.
Also a great personal story about the scientists that sacrificed their lives to develop true technologies while holding false believes in the nation state. Trying to be more german than the germans, finally nevertheless dissed as a jew by those who claimed to represent the imaginary nation state. Both Haber and Bosch developed world changing technology but died disillusioned, the product of their lives being plundered and exploited by politicians and war mongers.
This is an account of two German men (Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch) responsible for figuring out how to fix nitrogen on a large scale, and about their experiences during World Wars I and II. This was a little too sensationalized for my liking at times, and definitely too repetitive, and I thought the way Hager chose to end it was kind of strange, but it's still a very interesting story. Good narration as well.
Fantastic history of the science & politics revolving around fixed nitrogen. Sound boring? You might be surprised at how this has effected all our lives, in peace and war.
Yes. This very interesting history portrays the heartbreak of a genius who did everything humanly possible to be accepted but to no avail.
This story is about Fritz Haber, a nobel prize winner and also some think a war criminal.
He did not envolve himself in the story, it went smoothly and the reader just did his job and that is to read.
The man who has saved the lives of 4 billion people
This critical biography is a must for any who have a good interest in history.
Sufficient food for all of us can not be grown using naturally occuring fertilizers and/or nitrates. Enter two geniuses who successfully thunk up a process for creating unlimited nitrates from the unlimited nitrogen in the air. WahLah! Today we all eat well (except for those in a society where corruption is the rule).
These two German geniuses did it to make money, a lot of money (feeding the masses was the by-product, not their motivation). They succeeded in mastering the technology and exporting the technology to the globe inspite of despot governments in Germany (Think WWI and WWII and before).
The importance of this miracle can not be overstated. One interesting application was that President Nixon's initial visit to China was followed by China importing this technology to feed its masses.
Any student of modern European history should consider this book a must!
Cecil R. Williams
The book is excellent. It shows how technology transcends Nazism, Marxism, Democracy and Racism.
It is very good lesion in history and economics. It brings to life some extremely interesting and important people
My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.
This is so great and a testament to great innovations but also how excess can eventually kill us if we don't recognize it soon enough.