“This book offers a new perspective on the life, work, and ideas of Nobel Laureate William B. Shockley, who was awarded the prize in 1956. It reconstructs Shockley’s childhood, his heroic deeds during World War II, his contribution to semiconductor physics, which culminated in the world-changing invention of the transistor, and his perspectives on the social issues of his time period.
The author had unrivaled access to Shockley’s personal documents, which not only enlightens the reader about the colorful and controversial life of Shockley but also illuminates the perspectives of other prominent scientists working during that time period. Shockley was not only a brilliant scientist in his own right but also a fiercely independent thinker who was always looking for the truth. It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of his contributions to what is now known as the field of microelectronics. This book examines the significant aspects of Shockley’s life, and it is filled with photographs that have never been seen in public before as well as excerpts from his personal notebooks and private correspondence.
In addition to that, Shockley’s thoughts on genetics and how they relate to human intelligence are discussed in depth throughout this book. It tells the story of a man who is persecuted by unyielding rationality, slandered by the popular media, and ultimately estranged from his contemporaries. It examines his contentious ideas regarding human genetics, some of which were surprisingly prescient for their time, and places those ideas in the context of contemporary research findings.
Perhaps William Shockley is still as mysterious to people today as his work and the things he has accomplished. The author makes a compelling case that Shockley still has much to say about the issues that are prevalent in our time and that many of his ideas merit evaluation in the public forum. This argument is presented in the book.”