FROM THE PUBLISHER
The myth of Marie Curie—the penniless Polish immigrant who, through genius and obsessive persistence, endured years of toil and deprivation to produce radium, a luminous panacea for all the world's ills including cancer—has obscured the remarkable truth behind her discoveries. Curie's shrewd though controversial insight was that radioactivity was an atomic property that could be used to discover new elements. While her work won her two Nobel Prizes and transformed our world, it did not liberate her from the prejudices of either the male-dominated scientific community or society. Here is an all-too-human woman trying to balance science, love, and the family values that constitute her legacy.
Using original research (family interviews, diaries, letters, and workbooks that had been sealed for over sixty years) to peel away the layers of myth and reveal the woman behind the icon, the acclaimed author and historian Barbara Goldsmith offers a dazzling portrait of Curie, her amazing discoveries, and the price she paid for fame. 15 photographs. Reading group guide included.