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In the spring of 1940, the aspiring but unknown writer Albert Camus and budding scientist Jacques Monod were quietly pursuing ordinary, separate lives in Paris. After the German invasion and occupation of France, each joined the Resistance to help liberate the country from the Nazis and ascended to prominent, dangerous roles. After the war and through twists of circumstance, they became friends, and through their passionate determination and rare talent they emerged as leading voices of modern literature and biology, each receiving the Nobel Prize in their respective fields.
Drawing upon a wealth of previously unpublished and unknown material gathered over several years of research, Brave Genius tells the story of how each man endured the most terrible episode of the twentieth century and then blossomed into extraordinarily creative and engaged individuals. It is a story of the transformation of ordinary lives into exceptional lives by extraordinary events—of courage in the face of overwhelming adversity, the flowering of creative genius, deep friendship, and of profound concern for and insight into the human condition.
Praise for Brave Genius:
"Carroll beautifully encapsulates how two men seemingly so far apart in their philosophies and achievements both ended up sharing 'exceptional lives' transformed by 'exceptional events.'" —Scientific American
“[S]killfully combining science, biography and history… An important story well-told.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Readers will learn a good deal about symbolism in Camus’ fiction and biochemistry in Monod’s molecular biology. But, above all, they will learn about a luminous friendship forged in dark times. A rare chronicle of valiant thinkers fighting political oppression and transcending professional boundaries.”—Booklist (starred review)