Solly Zuckerman's early life in South Africa left him with a lifelong concern for the natural world. His mother, "an overpowering taskmaster," bred in him the habit of questioning established wisdom. These pressures, having first made him an academic scientist, carried him, amazingly, into the higher reaches of Government both in Britain and America. No other foreigner would ever have been invited to attend meetings of the President's Science Advisory Committee. He advised particularly on strategy of bombing, the peril of nuclear weapons, and the hazards caused by human numbers to the land, water, and air on which we all depend.
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John Peyton knew Solly Zuckerman well and his own autobiography, "Without the Benefit of Laundry," was published to great acclaim in 1997. Matthew Parris wrote "Above all I was struck by the quality of his writing. John Peyton is a stylist of often poetic intensity." He was MP for Yeovil from 1951 to 1983 when he was made a Life Peer. He was also Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Power (1962-4), Minister of Transport (1970-4) and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons (1974-7). He lives in London and Somerset.From Booklist:
Government scientific advisors usually hail from quantitative disciplines such as physics. In striking contrast, Zuckerman was a doctor of medicine and zoology who advised the British government on aerial bombing, nuclear war, the development of military jets, and even oil spills. According to Peyton, a Labour Party politician, the switch from studying baboons, one of Zuckerman's specialties, to studying bomb blasts occurred by serendipity when in 1940 an Oxford don enlisted Zuckerman and his simians to gauge the concussive force of German bombs. Throughout this biography, Peyton underscores the scientific qualities of Zuckerman's mind--his curiosity and respect for facts over wishful thinking--that made his opinions count with decision makers up to the 1970s. On the other hand, Zuckerman the man strikes Peyton as more cryptic, someone who guarded his privacy yet exhibited the streak of a bon vivant and enjoyed socializing with figures such as Prince Philip. Although Zuckerman was not well known, his unusual career and Jewish South African background will pique interest. Gilbert Taylor
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Book Description John Murray, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11071956283X
Book Description John Murray, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M071956283X