by [GIBBS, Willard (1839-1903)] RUKEYSER, Muriel (1913-1980).
New York:: Doubleday, Doran, 1942., 1942. 8vo. xi, , 465 pp. 5 illustrations, index. Blue blind- and gilt-stamped cloth, glassine cover. Very good. First edition. Albert Einstein described Gibbs as "the greatest mind in American history." His theoretical breakthroughs in statistical mechanics, vector analysis, chemical thermodynamics, and physical optics remain his legacy. This extremely taciturn man left few letters, speeches, or personal statements of any type. Rukeyser's biography is one of the few insights into the man and his work. Her chapter on the Amistad incident, which concerned Gibbs' father, is nevertheless fascinating reading. Rukeyser received extremely harsh criticism for her biography of Gibbs. It was reported that one critic, Joseph Krutch, was incensed by the book writing, "I am still not certain that [Gibbs] deserves a popular biography or that, if he does, Miss Rukeyser was the person to write it." (The Nation, January 1943, p. 357). Time has sided with Rukeyser.
(Inventory #: SEG1062)
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