Wonderfully written, clear and exciting, parts I even wanted to read aloud! His attempt (and I believe success) to be utterly honest is evident, as is his philosophical as well as political background.
I loved this book so much that I am scanning for and ordering everything else I can find that Barrett has written. Anyone who loved Lives Of a Cell, Notes Of a Biology Watcher would adore this book. The science is keenly drawn and explained, the historical fiction is richly imagined, and the blend is seamless.
The 1990 edition, I checked to confirm that this is still current and valid science; subjects like how electricity works, how does detergent work, not high tech topics that would be out of date. Good for a quickie report or an elemental understanding for middle to high school level students or the casual reader.