Lavoisier in the Year One: The Birth of a New Science in an Age of Revolution



Antoine Lavoisier reinvented chemistry, overthrowing the long-established principles of alchemy and inventing an entirely new terminology, one still in use by chemists. Madison Smartt Bell's enthralling narrative reads like a race to the finish line, as the very circumstances that enabled Lavoisier to secure his reputation as the father of modern chemistry--a considerable fortune and social connections with the likes of Benjamin Franklin--also caused his glory to be cut short by the French Revolution.

Product Details

Price: $13.95
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Published Date: June 17, 2006
Pages: 214
Dimensions: 6.38 X 0.57 X 7.86 inches | 0.44 pounds
ISBN: 9780393328547
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About the Author

Madison Smartt Bell (b. 1957) is a critically acclaimed novelist. Over the last two decades he has produced more than a dozen novels and story collections, as well as numerous essays and reviews. His books have been finalists for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award among other honors. Born and raised outside of Nashville, Bell's fiction is often set in the South, or in New York where he lived as a young writer. Bell and his wife, poet Elizabeth Spires, currently live in Baltimore, Maryland, where they are the codirectors of the writing program at Goucher College.


Bell succeeds, not only in depicting the rigorousness of Lavoisier's method, but also in conveying a sense of his character, as revealed most affectingly by the quietly heroic composure with which he faced his own death.--Merle Rubin
A two-part thriller. The first describes Lavoisier's successful effort to win the race to explain how chemical processes work; the second, his pursuit by French revolutionaries.--Jacob Heilbrunn