Richard Feynman needs no introduction. A great teacher and an admirable personality above all. Feynman was not an ordinary person by any measure. As a physicist his methods and reasoning amazed his peers. As a teacher he put fun back into the subject and made learning a whole new experience, packed with interest, imagination and excitement. As a popular person, he denounced authority and accolades, stating that decoration doesn’t change the man underneath, it’s all a facade.
Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track is a collection of Feynman’s letters and correspondences throughout his career. No other book can come even close to showing the real character of this brilliant man. From his patient and generous responses to wanna-be scientists with flawed ideas, and those who have some interest in a minor oddity that discuss with Feynman, to those who seek advice for themselves or their offspring, to those who have a few harsh things to tell Feynman. The collection includes some of his personal family mails as well as his very emotional and moving exchange with his first wife before and during her illness and final departure.
Feynman enjoyed the scientific endeavor more than anything. He rejected honorary degrees and other prizes. A very humble character who always accepted his flaws right off the bat. A fascinating read with notes and comments by his half-sister.
This is a gem for all Feynman fans and anyone who’s interested in learning about a great man with a character to awe and inspire.
- Eivind: BBC News – How Richard Feynman went from stirring jelly to a Nobel Prize (bbc.co.uk)
- ‘No ordinary genius’ (bbc.co.uk)
- The Difference between ‘True Science’ and ‘Cargo-Cult Science’ (pajamasmedia.com)
Categories: Letters and correspondences.
Recommendation: Recommended for Feynman fans.