The Physicist As Magician

TITLE: GENIUS: THE LIFE AND SCIENCE OF RICHARD FEYNMAN

AUTHOR: JAMES GLEICK

PUBLISHER: PANTHEON; 531 PAGES; $27.50

THE BOTTOM LINE: A monumental portrait of one of the giants of modern science, at once definitive and crystal clear.

"There are two kinds of geniuses," the eminent mathematician Mark Kac once remarked. "An ordinary genius is a fellow that you and I would be just as good as, if we were only many times better." The other kind Kac called magicians. "Even after we understand what they have done, the process by which they have done it is completely dark . . ....

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