Books: Small Wonder

EX-PRODIGY: MY CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH (309 pp)—Norbert Wiener—Simon & Schuster ($3.95).

At seven, Norbert Wiener was already interested in chemistry and physics, so his college-professor father set up a small laboratory for him in their home in Cambridge, Mass. But since Norbert was not the kind of lad to lose himself in sterile specialization, he also looked into zoology botany—particularly into "structure and the problems of growth." It soon became clear that little Norbert was a scientific prodigy, one of the most brilliant ever to appear in the U.S. At nine he entered...

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