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: 4615

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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.
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History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Eastern Europe (Including All of Russia) (1783-2020)

Extensively Annotated Bibliography and Sourcebook

Author: William Shurtleff; Akiko Aoyagi

Publisher: Soyinfo Center

ISBN: 1948436175

Category:

Page: 1358

View: 7518

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The world's most comprehensive, well documented, and will illustrated book on this subject. Extensive subject and geographical index. 146 photographs, maps and illustrations - mostly color. Free of charge in digital PDF format on Google Books
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The Story of Seeds

From Mendel's Garden to Your Plate, and How There's More of Less to Eat Around the World

Author: Nancy Castaldo

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544320255

Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

Page: 144

View: 6203

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Something as small as a seed can have a worldwide impact. Did you know there are top-secret seed vaults hidden throughout the world? And once a seed disappears, that’s it—it’s gone forever? With the growth of genetically modified foods, the use of many seeds is dwindling—of 80,000 edible plants, only about 150 are being cultivated. With a global cast of men and women, scientists and laypeople, and photographic documentation, Nancy Castaldo chronicles where our food comes from, and more importantly, where it is going as she digs deeper into the importance of seeds in our world. This empowering book also calls young adult readers to action with suggestions as to how they can preserve the variety of one of our most valuable food sources through simple everyday actions. Readers of Michael Pollen will enjoy the depth and fascinatingly intricate social economy of seeds.
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Stalin and the Scientists

A History of Triumph and Tragedy 1905–1953

Author: Simon Ings

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571290094

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 9600

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An epic story of courage, genius and terrible folly, this is the first history of how the Soviet Union's scientists became both the glory and the laughing stock of the intellectual world. Simon Ings weaves together what happened when a handful of impoverished and underemployed graduates, professors and entrepreneurs, collectors and charlatans, bound themselves to a failing government to create a world superpower. And he shows how Stalin's obsessions derailed a great experiment in 'rational government'.
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Iron Curtain

The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56

Author: Anne Applebaum

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 1846147344

Category: History

Page: 656

View: 1333

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At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union unexpectedly found itself in control of a huge swathe of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to a completely new political and moral system: communism. In Iron Curtain, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete. Applebaum describes in devastating detail how political parties, the church, the media, young people's organizations - the institutions of civil society on every level - were quickly eviscerated. She explains how the secret police services were organized, how the media came to be dominated by communists, and how all forms of opposition were undermined and destroyed. Ranging widely across new archival material and many sources unknown in English, she follows the communists' tactics as they bullied, threatened and murdered their way to power. She also chronicles individual lives to show the choices people had to make - to fight, to flee, or to collaborate. Within a remarkably short period after the end of the war, Eastern Europe had been ruthlessly Stalinized. Iron Curtain is a brilliant history of a brutal period and a haunting reminder of how fragile free societies can be. Today the Soviet Bloc is a lost civilization, one whose cruelty, paranoia, bizarre morality, and strange aesthetics Anne Applebaum captures in the pages of this exceptional work of historical and moral reckoning.
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Moscow Stories

Author: Loren R. Graham

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253000743

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 5375

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"Graham has brilliantly encapsulated and interwoven the major features of Soviet and post-Soviet history in his riveting stories.... a splendid and extraordinary work." -- Edward Grant, author of God and Reason in the Middle Ages "A very lively read, indeed a real page turner... Graham's discussion of pressing ethical dilemmas displays a sureness of hand and a refreshing candor about his own struggles with the issues." -- Susan Solomon, University of Toronto The distinguished American historian of Russian and Soviet science Loren R. Graham recounts with warmth and wit his experiences during 45 years of traveling and researching in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia, from 1960 to 2005. Present for many historic events during this period, Graham writes not as a political correspondent or an analyst, but as an ordinary American living through these years alongside Russian friends and critics. Graham befriended some of the leading scientists and politicians in Russia, but his most touching stories concern average Russians with whom he lived, worked, suffered, and exchanged views. Graham also writes of the ethical questions he confronted, such as the tension between independence of thought and political loyalty. Finally, he depicts the ways in which Russia has changed -- visually, politically, and ideologically -- during the last 15 years. These gripping, sometimes humorous, always deeply personal stories will engage and inform all readers with an interest in Russia during this tumultuous period of history.
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The Twelfth Department

Korolev Mysteries

Author: William Ryan

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 0230761275

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 7341

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Hides some of Stalin's darkest secrets . . . Shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger for Best Historical Crime Novel of the Year. Shortlisted for the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year. Moscow, 1937. Captain Korolev, a police investigator, is enjoying a long-overdue visit from his young son Yuri when an eminent scientist is shot dead within sight of the Kremlin and Korolev is ordered to find the killer. It soon emerges that the victim, a man who it appears would stop at nothing to fulfil his ambitions, was engaged in research of great interest to those at the very top ranks of Soviet power. When another scientist is brutally murdered, and evidence of the professors' dark experiments is hastily removed, Korolev begins to realize that, along with having a difficult case to solve, he's caught in a dangerous battle between two warring factions of the NKVD. And then his son Yuri goes missing . . . A desperate race against time, set against a city gripped by Stalin's Great Terror and teeming with spies, street children and Thieves, The Twelfth Department confirms William Ryan as one of the most compelling historical crime novelists.
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The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame:

Muwahahahaha!

Author: Daniel H. Wilson,Anna C. Long,Illustrated by Daniel Heard

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.

ISBN: 0806535644

Category: Humor

Page: 224

View: 1337

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Muwahahahaha! Dr. Frankenstein. Marie Curie. Dr. Moreau. Captain Nemo. They're the most fascinating minds of all time--and now a science guru has teamed up with an expert in human psychology to coax them out of their laboratories and onto the analyst's couch. Real and fictional, famous and infamous, crazy and just crazily driven, these brilliant men and women exhibit a list of neuroses almost as impressive as their extraordinary accomplishments. At last, you can explore their early fixations, their ambitions, their successes and failures, and the particular quirks that have granted each induction into the Mad Scientist Hall of Fame, including: • Dr. Evil: Megalomaniacal doctor with antisocial personality disorder (and pathological dislike of his own son, Scotty) • Nikola Tesla: Real-life mad scientist with obsessive compulsive disorder (and he talked to aliens) • Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde: Brilliant doctor gone bad, suffering from multiple personality disorder (and a penchant for strong chemical cocktails) • Lex Luthor: Villain and supergenius with manic mood disorder (and premature baldness) Witty, illuminating, and thoroughly entertaining, this one-of-a-kind book offers irrefutable proof that success, super-intelligence, and a mantelpiece full of Nobel prizes is no guarantee of sanity. Praise for Daniel H. Wilson "Daniel H. Wilson and Anna C. Long have made an exhaustive study of the evil mind. It is complete, pulls no punches, and reveals secrets that have hitherto remained hidden. It is for these reasons that I must liquidate them. Great book!" --Mike Myers, aka Dr. Evil from Austin Powers "Forget about John Connor--it's Daniel H. Wilson who is going to save us from the Terminators." --Forbes on How to Survive a Robot Uprising "A tribute to the far-fetched ideas that often drive progress." --Erik Sofge, Popular Mechanics, for Where's My Jetpack?
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Terrible Beauty: A Cultural History of the Twentieth Century

The People and Ideas that Shaped the Modern Mind: A History

Author: Peter Watson

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 178022673X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 848

View: 1004

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A history of the twentieth century which covers all the ideas, people, great events, literary and artistic movements, scientific discoveries which have shaped the twentieth century. Terrible Beauty presents a unique narrative of the twentieth century. Unlike more conventional histories, where the focus is on political events and personalities, on wars, treaties and elections, this book concentrates on the ideas that made the century so rich, rewarding and provocative. Beginning with four seminal ideas which were introduced in 1900 - the unconscious, the gene, the quantum and Picasso's first paintings in Paris - the book brings together the main areas of thought and juxtaposes the most original and influential ideas of our time in an immensely readable narrative. From the creation of plastic to Norman Mailer, from the discovery of the 'Big Bang' to the Counterculture, from Relativity to Susan Sontag, from Proust to Salman Rushdie, and Henri Bergson to Saul Bellow, the book's range is encyclopedic. We meet in these pages the other twentieth century, the writers, the artists, the scientists and philosophers who were not cowed by the political and military disasters raging around them, and produced some of the most amazing and rewarding ideas by which we live. Terrible Beauty, endlessly stimulating and provocative, affirms that there was much more to the twentieth century than war and genocide.
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