CHF publishes biography of Fritz Haber

02/16/04

Fritz Haber biography examines controversial life in science

TITLE: Fritz Haber: Chemist, Nobel Laureate, German, Jew
by Dietrich Stoltzenberg
2004, Chemical Heritage Foundation

Haber pioneered in electrochemistry and thermodynamics and won the Nobel Prize for his synthesis of ammonia, a process essential for both fertilizer and explosives. His dedication to work spurred his efforts to increase support for scientific study in Germany; yet it also helped cause the breakdown of his two marriages. His ardent patriotism led him to develop chemical weapons for World War I and to try to extract gold from seawater, to help pay for Germany's huge war reparations. Yet Haber, a Jew by birth, was exiled from his homeland in 1933 by the Nazi party and died shortly after.

Praise for the German edition
"A fine biography of this deeply flawed individual. . . . [It] should appeal to general readers as well as to historians and all those interested in the social responsibility of science.
--David Cahan, Nature

"Stoltzenberg's superb biography, which leaves little to be desired, is the remarkable achievement of a professional chemist turned historian."
--Peter Alter, Ambix

"[An] excellent biography . . .
--Max Perutz, New York Review of Books

Winner of the German Chemical Society's author's prize.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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