• Biography & Autobiography

The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov

The Story of Stalin's Persecution of One of the Great Scientists of the Twentieth Century
Author: Peter Pringle
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781416566021
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 416
View: 8888
In The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov, acclaimed journalist and author Peter Pringle recreates the extraordinary life and tragic end of one of the great scientists of the twentieth century. In a drama of love, revolution, and war that rivals Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago, Pringle tells the story of a young Russian scientist, Nikolai Vavilov, who had a dream of ending hunger and famine in the world. Vavilov's plan would use the emerging science of genetics to breed super plants that could grow anywhere, in any climate, in sandy deserts and freezing tundra, in drought and flood. He would launch botanical expeditions to find these vanishing genes, overlooked by early farmers ignorant of Mendel's laws of heredity. He called it a "mission for all humanity." To the leaders of the young Soviet state, Vavilov's dream fitted perfectly into their larger scheme for a socialist utopia. Lenin supported the adventurous Vavilov, a handsome and seductive young professor, as he became an Indiana Jones, hunting lost botanical treasures on five continents. In a former tsarist palace in what is now St. Petersburg, Vavilov built the world's first seed bank, a quarter of a million specimens, a magnificent living museum of plant diversity that was the envy of scientists everywhere and remains so today. But when Lenin died in 1924 and Stalin took over, Vavilov's dream turned into a nightmare. This son of science was from a bourgeois background, the class of society most despised and distrusted by the Bolsheviks. The new cadres of comrade scientists taunted and insulted him, and Stalin's dreaded secret police built up false charges of sabotage and espionage. Stalin's collectivization of farmland caused chaos in Soviet food production, and millions died in widespread famine. Vavilov's master plan for improving Soviet crops was designed to work over decades, not a few years, and he could not meet Stalin's impossible demands for immediate results. In Stalin's Terror of the 1930s, Russian geneticists were systematically repressed in favor of the peasant horticulturalist Trofim Lysenko, with his fraudulent claims and speculative theories. Vavilov was the most famous victim of this purge, which set back Russian biology by a generation and caused the country untold harm. He was sentenced to death, but unlike Galileo, he refused to recant his beliefs and, in the most cruel twist, this humanitarian pioneer scientist was starved to death in the gulag. Pringle uses newly opened Soviet archives, including Vavilov's secret police file, official correspondence, vivid expedition reports, previously unpublished family letters and diaries, and the reminiscences of eyewitnesses to bring us this intensely human story of a brilliant life cut short by anti-science demagogues, ideology, censorship, and political expedience.

    • Biography & Autobiography

The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov

The Story of Stalin's Persecution of One of the Gr
Author: Peter Pringle
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781451656497
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 384
View: 4751
Documents the early years of the genetic revolution as a period marked by one of the most relevant scientific scandals of the twentieth century and the tragic murder of leading Soviet geneticist Nikolai Vavilov by the Stalin regime. 35,000 first printing.

    • Plant breeders

The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov

The Story of Stalin's Persecution of One of the Great Scientists of the Twentieth Century
Author: Peter Pringle
Publisher: Aurum
ISBN: 9781906217914
Category: Plant breeders
Page: 370
View: 5637
In a drama of love, revolution and war that rivals Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago, author and journalist, Pringle, tells the true story of a young Russian scientist, who travelled the world to collect seeds and plants unavailable in Russia in order to transform Soviet, and even world, agriculture and ensure the survival of humanity through adequate food supply. To the leaders of the Soviet state, including Lenin, Vavilov’s dream fitted perfectly into their larger scheme for a socialist utopia. But when Lenin died in 1924 and Stalin took over, the handsome and seductive young professor’s dream turned into a nightmare. Stalin chose collectivization of farmland, causing chaos and famine, and it soon became impossible for Vavilov to implement his plan. Worse, Stalin’s secret police began to build up a file against him, as they systematically suppressed geneticists, which would eventually include false charges of sabotage and espionage, leading to imprisonment, torture and death. This is the intensely human story of a brilliant life cut short by anti-science demagogues, ideology, censorship and political expedience. Pringle’s sources include newly opened Soviet archive material, family letters and diaries, official correspondence and eyewitness statements, as this book follows the life, loves and trials of one of the leading geneticists, during the birth of modern genetics. Peter Pringle has been foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times and the Observer and was former Moscow bureau chief for the Independent. He has written The New York Times and The Washington Post amongst others and is the author or co-author of nine previous books. ‘A well researched and well-written study’ Publishers Weekly

    • Biography & Autobiography

Where Our Food Comes From

Retracing Nikolay Vavilov's Quest to End Famine
Author: Gary Paul Nabhan
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1597265179
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 256
View: 7017
The future of our food depends on tiny seeds in orchards and fields the world over. In 1943, one of the first to recognize this fact, the great botanist Nikolay Vavilov, lay dying of starvation in a Soviet prison. But in the years before Stalin jailed him as a scapegoat for the country’s famines, Vavilov had traveled over five continents, collecting hundreds of thousands of seeds in an effort to outline the ancient centers of agricultural diversity and guard against widespread hunger. Now, another remarkable scientist—and vivid storyteller—has retraced his footsteps. In Where Our Food Comes From, Gary Paul Nabhan weaves together Vavilov’s extraordinary story with his own expeditions to Earth’s richest agricultural landscapes and the cultures that tend them. Retracing Vavilov’s path from Mexico and the Colombian Amazon to the glaciers of the Pamirs in Tajikistan, he draws a vibrant portrait of changes that have occurred since Vavilov’s time and why they matter. In his travels, Nabhan shows how climate change, free trade policies, genetic engineering, and loss of traditional knowledge are threatening our food supply. Through discussions with local farmers, visits to local outdoor markets, and comparison of his own observations in eleven countries to those recorded in Vavilov’s journals and photos, Nabhan reveals just how much diversity has already been lost. But he also shows what resilient farmers and scientists in many regions are doing to save the remaining living riches of our world. It is a cruel irony that Vavilov, a man who spent his life working to foster nutrition, ultimately died from lack of it. In telling his story, Where Our Food Comes From brings to life the intricate relationships among culture, politics, the land, and the future of the world’s food.

    • Science

Stalin and the Scientists

A History of Triumph and Tragedy, 1905–1953
Author: Simon Ings
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
ISBN: 0802189865
Category: Science
Page: 528
View: 5478
Scientists throughout history, from Galileo to today’s experts on climate change, have often had to contend with politics in their pursuit of knowledge. But in the Soviet Union, where the ruling elites embraced, patronized, and even fetishized science like never before, scientists lived their lives on a knife edge. The Soviet Union had the best-funded scientific establishment in history. Scientists were elevated as popular heroes and lavished with awards and privileges. But if their ideas or their field of study lost favor with the elites, they could be exiled, imprisoned, or murdered. And yet they persisted, making major contributions to 20th century science. Stalin and the Scientists tells the story of the many gifted scientists who worked in Russia from the years leading up to the Revolution through the death of the “Great Scientist” himself, Joseph Stalin. It weaves together the stories of scientists, politicians, and ideologues into an intimate and sometimes horrifying portrait of a state determined to remake the world. They often wreaked great harm. Stalin was himself an amateur botanist, and by falling under the sway of dangerous charlatans like Trofim Lysenko (who denied the existence of genes), and by relying on antiquated ideas of biology, he not only destroyed the lives of hundreds of brilliant scientists, he caused the death of millions through famine. But from atomic physics to management theory, and from radiation biology to neuroscience and psychology, these Soviet experts also made breakthroughs that forever changed agriculture, education, and medicine. A masterful book that deepens our understanding of Russian history, Stalin and the Scientists is a great achievement of research and storytelling, and a gripping look at what happens when science falls prey to politics.

    • Fiction

Day of the Dandelion

An Arthur Hemmings Mystery
Author: Peter Pringle
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416556451
Category: Fiction
Page: 320
View: 4962
Seeds of a new corn plant are stolen from Oxford University's botany lab, and the professor, Alastair Scott, and his Russian assistant, Tanya Petrovskaya, are missing. Alarms ring in London and Washington, where intelligence officials know that Scott was working on a supergene that could allow control over the world's entire food supply. The British government calls in Arthur Hemmings from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. To his coworkers, Hemmings is just another researcher in the herbarium, but for many years he has been a secret service agent, an outwardly rumpled but dashing covert adventurer. Officials see a Moscow plot. Has Scott been kidnapped? Is he dead? Have Scott and Tanya fled to Russia? And why is Oxford's vice-chancellor withholding vital information? The intrepid Hemmings follows a series of clues into the cutthroat world of international patents, where the hunt for priceless genes is always nasty and often deadly. In Arthur Hemmings, Pringle has created an original heartbreaker of a hero, a botanist detective with a dash of James Bond. Facing murderous threats, Hemmings investigates fearlessly and with devastating precision. Handsome, witty, an ambitious cook, and a wine lover, he is irresistible to a much younger American female researcher. Day of the Dandelion is a seductive modern hybrid of the thrillers of Graham Greene and the adventure novels of Ian Fleming, filled with political, scientific, and commercial intrigue, and laced with miracle plants, deadly toxins, kidnappings, and car chases. It will keep the reader in suspense and amused from prelude to postscript.

    • Science

Food, Inc.

Mendel to Monsanto--The Promises and Perils of the
Author: Peter Pringle
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439103845
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 1680
For most people, the global war over genetically modified foods is a distant and confusing one. The battles are conducted in the mystifying language of genetics. A handful of corporate "life science" giants, such as Monsanto, are pitted against a worldwide network of anticorporate ecowarriors like Greenpeace. And yet the possible benefits of biotech agriculture to our food supply are too vital to be left to either partisan. The companies claim to be leading a new agricultural revolution that will save the world with crops modified to survive frost, drought, pests, and plague. The greens warn that "playing God" with plant genes is dangerous. It could create new allergies, upset ecosystems, destroy biodiversity, and produce uncontrollable mutations. Worst of all, the antibiotech forces say, a single food conglomerate could end up telling us what to eat. In Food, Inc., acclaimed journalist Peter Pringle shows how both sides in this overheated conflict have made false promises, engaged in propaganda science, and indulged in fear-mongering. In this urgent dispatch, he suggests that a fertile partnership between consumers, corporations, scientists, and farmers could still allow the biotech harvest to reach its full potential in helping to overcome the problem of world hunger, providing nutritious food and keeping the environment healthy.

    • Science

Lysenko's Ghost

Epigenetics and Russia
Author: Loren Graham
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674969049
Category: Science
Page: N.A
View: 5211
Lysenko became one of the most notorious figures in twentieth-century science after his genetic theories were discredited decades ago. Yet some scientists now claim that discoveries in epigenetics prove that he was right after all. Loren Graham reopens the case, to determine whether new developments in molecular biology validate Lysenko’s claims.

    • History

The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service


Author: Andrew Meier
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393070156
Category: History
Page: 416
View: 4113
Filled with dramatic revelations, The Lost Spy may be the most important American spy story to come along in a generation. For half a century, the case of Isaiah Oggins, a 1920s New York intellectual brutally murdered in 1947 on Stalin's orders, remained hidden in the secret files of the KGB and the FBI—a footnote buried in the rubble of the Cold War. Then, in 1992, it surfaced briefly, when Boris Yeltsin handed over a deeply censored dossier to the White House. The Lost Spy at last reveals the truth: Oggins was one of the first Americans to spy for the Soviets.Based on six years of international sleuthing, The Lost Spy traces Oggins's rise in beguiling detail—a brilliant Columbia University graduate sent to run a safe house in Berlin and spy on the Romanovs in Paris and the Japanese in Manchuria—and his fall: death by poisoning in a KGB laboratory. As harrowing as Darkness at Noon and as tragic as Dr. Zhivago, The Lost Spy is one of the great nonfiction detective stories of our time.

    • Criticism

Critical Encounters

Reference and Responsibility in Deconstructive Writing
Author: Cathy Caruth,Deborah Esch
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780813520889
Category: Criticism
Page: 305
View: 4957

    • Biography & Autobiography

In the Line of Fire


Author: Pervez Musharraf
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1847395961
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 368
View: 4818
It is almost unprecedented for a head of state to publish a memoir while still in office. But Pervez Musharraf is no ordinary head of state. As President of Pakistan since 1999, his is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and he continues to play a crucial role in the global war on terror. A one-time supporter of the Taliban, a general who fought in several wars, President Musharraf took a decisive turn against militant Islam in 2001. Since then he has survived two assassination attempts; rooted out militants in his own government; helped direct countless raids against al-Qaeda both in his cities and in the mountains; and tracked Osama bin Laden with technical and human intelligence. IN THE LINE OF FIRE is astonishingly revealing and honest about dozens of topics of intense interest to the world. Among its many revelations: exactly how Pakistani authorities tracked down and smashed three major al-Qaeda control centres in the mountains; how al-Qaeda's many-layered structure was revealed after the assassination attempts; Bin Laden's current position within the al-Qaeda hierarchy; what it has been like to deal with Bush and Blair; how Pakistan and India have avoided nuclear confrontation; and much more. The terrible earthquake of 2005, killing nearly 40,000 Pakistanis, is just one chapter in a life and career that has been filled with danger and drama. The worldwide launch of President Musharraf's memoir promises to be a sensation.

    • History

The Great Terror

A Reassessment
Author: Robert Conquest
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195316995
Category: History
Page: 574
View: 366
The definitive work on Stalin's purges, the author's The Great Terror was universally acclaimed when it first appeared in 1968. It was "hailed as the only scrupulous, nonpartisan, and adequate book on the subject". And in recent years it has received equally high praise in the Soviet Union, where it is now considered the authority on the period, and has been serialized in Neva, one of their leading periodicals. Of course, when the author wrote the original volume two decades ago, he relied heavily on unofficial sources. Now, with the advent of glasnost, an avalanche of new material is available, and he has mined this enormous cache to write a substantially new edition of his classic work. It is remarkable how many of the most disturbing conclusions have born up under the light of fresh evidence. But the author has added enormously to the detail, including hitherto secret information on the three great "Moscow Trials," on the fate of the executed generals, on the methods of obtaining confessions, on the purge of writers and other members of the intelligentsia, on life in the labor camps, and many other key matters. Both a leading Sovietologist and a highly respected poet, the author blends research with prose, providing not only an authoritative account of Stalin's purges, but also a compelling chronicle of one of this century's most tragic events. A timely revision of a book long out of print, this is the updated version of the author's original work.

    • Political Science

Comrade Haldane Is Too Busy to Go on Holiday

The Genius Who Spied for Stalin
Author: Gavan Tredoux
Publisher: Encounter Books
ISBN: 1594039844
Category: Political Science
Page: 464
View: 7482
John Burdon Sanderson Haldane F.R.S. (1892–1964) was one of the leading scientists of the twentieth century, renowned for helping, through statistical wizardry, to reconcile Darwin’s theory of natural selection with Mendel’s discovery of genes. The product of a distinguished family of scientists and public figures, “JBS” trained and influenced a swathe of students and colleagues at Oxford, Cambridge, and University College London, many of whom, such as the evolutionary theorist John Maynard Smith, went on to distinction in their own right. As a widely known left-wing “public intellectual,” Haldane gained fame as a popularizer of science and commentator on public affairs, broadcasting often on the BBC and publishing extensively in newspapers and magazines. His collections of popular scientific essays influenced a generation of upcoming scientists and remain in print today. On his death in 1964, he was accorded the rare tribute of a televised self-obituary on the BBC. Celebrated for his ability to connect seemingly disparate subjects, during the Second World War Haldane was extensively involved in scientific research to aid the British war effort. Using evidence gathered from VENONA Signals Intelligence intercepts, MI5 files, and the Haldane papers, this book reveals that Haldane was also a Soviet spy—a member of the “X Group,” an espionage ring that was run out of the Soviet Embassy in London. His interlocking associations with other spies, such as Ivor Montagu and Hans Kahle; his role as a hardline Stalinist propagandist through the onset of the Cold War; his betrayal of his colleague and friend, the Soviet geneticist Nikolai Vavilov; his long-standing support for the charlatan Soviet “scientist” Trofim D. Lysenko; and his concealed stalemate with the Communist Party of Great Britain once his ability to finesse Lysenko was extinguished, are unraveled here for the first time.

    • History

Those Are Real Bullets

Bloody Sunday, Derry, 1972
Author: Peter Pringle,Philip Jacobson
Publisher: Grove Press
ISBN: 9780802138798
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 2668
The 1972 "Bloody Sunday" massacre in Derry, Ireland, is chronicled in detail, using interviews, period photographs, and recently declassified information to tell the entire story of the event in which British paratroopers opened fire on unarmed Irish Catholic demonstrators. Reprint.

    • Biography & Autobiography

Strange Brains and Genius

The Secret Lives Of Eccentric Scientists And Madmen
Author: Clifford A. Pickover
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0688168949
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 352
View: 6258
Never has the term mad scientist been more fascinatingly explored than in internationally recognized popular science author Clifford Pickover's richly researched wild ride through the bizarre lives of eccentric geniuses. A few highlights: "The Pigeon Man from Manhattan" Legendary inventor Nikola Tesla had abnormally long thumbs, a peculiar love of pigeons, and a horror of women's pearls. "The Worm Man from Devonshire" Forefather of modern electric-circuit design Oliver Heaviside furnished his home with granite blocks and sometimes consumed only milk for days (as did Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison). "The Rabbit-Eater from Lichfield" Renowned scholar Samuel Johnson had so many tics and quirks that some mistook him for an idiot. In fact, his behavior matches modern definitions of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette's syndrome. Pickover also addresses many provocative topics: the link between genius and madness, the role the brain plays in alien abduction and religious experiences, UFOs, cryonics -- even the whereabouts of Einstein's brain!

    • Science

Origin and Geography of Cultivated Plants


Author: N. I. Vavilov
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521404273
Category: Science
Page: 498
View: 9283
A collection of all of Vavgilov's works on the origin and geography of cultivated plant species.

    • History

Stalin


Author: Hiroaki Kuromiya
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317867807
Category: History
Page: 246
View: 3380
This profile looks at how Stalin, despite being regarded as intellectually inferior by his rivals, managed to rise to power and rule the largest country in the world, achievieving divine-like status as a dictator. Through recently uncovered research material and Stalin’s archives in Moscow, Kuromiya analyzes how and why Stalin was a rare, even unique, politician who literally lived by politics alone. He analyses how Stalin understood psychology campaigns well and how he used this understanding in his political reign and terror. Kuromiya provides a convincing, concise and up-to-date analysis of Stalin’s political life.

    • Cooking

Dinner with Darwin

Food, Drink, and Evolution
Author: Jonathan Silvertown
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022624539X
Category: Cooking
Page: 240
View: 2369
What do eggs, flour, and milk have in common? They form the basis of crepes of course, but they also each have an evolutionary purpose. Eggs, seeds (from which flour is derived by grinding) and milk are each designed by evolution to nourish offspring. Everything we eat has an evolutionary history. Grocery shelves and restaurant menus are bounteous evidence of evolution at work, though the label on the poultry will not remind us of this with a Jurassic sell-by date, nor will the signs in the produce aisle betray the fact that corn has a 5,000 year history of artificial selection by pre-Colombian Americans. Any shopping list, each recipe, every menu and all ingredients can be used to create culinary and gastronomic magic, but can also each tell a story about natural selection, and its influence on our plates--and palates. Join in for multiple courses, for a tour of evolutionary gastronomy that helps us understand the shape of our diets, and the trajectories of the foods that have been central to them over centuries--from spirits to spices. This literary repast also looks at the science of our interaction with foods and cooking--the sights, the smells, the tastes. The menu has its eclectic components, just as any chef is entitled. But while it is not a comprehensive work which might risk gluttony, this is more than an amuse bouche, and will leave every reader hungry for more.

    • Music

A Theory of Harmony


Author: Ernst Levy
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9780873959926
Category: Music
Page: 99
View: 5018
In this introduction to natural-base music theory, Ernst Levy presents the essentials of a comprehensive, consistent theory of harmony developed from tone structure. A Theory of Harmony is a highly original explanation of the harmonic language of the last few centuries, showing the way toward an understanding of diverse styles of music. Basic harmony texts exist, but none supply help to students seeking threads of logic in the field. In a text abundantly illustrated with musical examples, Levy makes clear the few principles that illuminate the natural forces in harmony. He shows that general principles can be successfully extracted from the wealth of examples. This book actually provides a theory of harmony. One of the major musical minds of the twentieth century, Ernst Levy was born in Basel, Switzerland, in 1895. His musical career spanned more than seven decades, from his first public piano performance at age six. A naturalized U.S. citizen, he lived here from 1941 to 1966, teaching at the New England Conservatory, the University of Chicago, Bennington College, the Massachusetts institute of Technology, and Brooklyn College. After his retirement, Levy returned to Switzerland where he continued to compose until his death in 1981. He was an enormously productive composer, with hundreds of works to his credit including symphonies, string quartets, songs in English, French, and German, and music for solo instruments and small ensembles. His piano recordings, particularly of the last Beethoven sonatas and the Liszt sonata, have become collectors’ items. He thought of himself as a successor to Reimann, immediately, and Rameau, more remotely.