Memories of A Chemical BoyhoodeBook - 2013
What first aroused Sacks' boundless curiosity?
In this wonderful memoir, he evokes, with warmth and wit, his childhood in wartime England. There was the large, scientifically minded family in which his very early fascination with meals was nurtured - particularly by "Uncle Tungsten." There were his four years at the boarding school where he was sent at the outbreak of World War II to escape the bombings, and where, though he suffered extreme deprivation and cruelty, one can see the first gleam of his interest in the intellectual pursuits that would begin to shape him. And there was his return to London, an emotionally bereft 10-year-old who found solace in the secret garden of his passion for learning - about the nature of metals, gases and chemicals; about the hidden order of things outside himself.
Uncle Tungsten radiates the magic, the delight and the wonder of the birth, in a young boy, of the unquenchable desire for knowledge. It is an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary mind.
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This memoir is a demonstration of a deep, abiding love for metals and science from within a family deeply involved in both medical and industrial fields. Not fast-paced, I had to check this puppy out 3, yes THREE times to finish it. I let the first try expire, but Dr. Sacks' story and perspective through some impressive decades of discovery and development of metallurgic and elemental sciences was quite intriguing and would not leave me alone.
I have read \ listened to a couple of Stephen Hawking's writings and the elements and periodic table was a concept I had not fully appreciated until now.
Making Science, Chemistry, Metallurgy and even Medicine relatable is quite a skill. And the fact he survived his childhood physically, emotionally, intellectually or professionally makes us all fortunate.
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