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The Dilemmas of an Upright Man

The Dilemmas of an Upright Man

Max Planck and the Fortunes of German Science, With a New Afterword

J. L. Heilbron

ISBN 9780674004399

Publication date: 09/01/2000

In this moving and eloquent portrait, John Heilbron describes how the founder of quantum theory rose to the pinnacle of German science. With great understanding, he shows how Max Planck suffered morally and intellectually as his lifelong habit of service to his country and to physics was confronted by the realities of World War I and the brutalities of the Third Reich.

In an afterword written for this edition, Heilbron weighs the recurring questions among historians and scientists about the costs to others, and to Planck himself, of the painful choices he faced in attempting to build an “ark” to carry science and scientists through the storms of Nazism.

Praise

  • An important book to which all students of science as a human institution should be referred… This story of a fruitful but ultimately tragic life is extremely well told and needs to be more widely known.

    —John Ziman, Times Higher Education Supplement

Author

  • J. L. Heilbron, formerly Professor of History and the Vice Chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, is a Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, University of Oxford. He was awarded the George Sarton Medal by the History of Science Society in 1993 for his contributions to the field.

Book Details

  • 272 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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