A Feeling for the Organism, 10th Aniversary Edition The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock

Evelyn Fox Keller

Times Books



Trade Paperback

272 Pages



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For much of her life she worked alone, brilliant but eccentric, with ideas that made little sense to her colleagues. Yet before DNA and the molecular revolution, Barbara McClintock's tireless analysis of corn led her to uncover some of the deepest, most intricate secrets of genetic organization. Nearly forty years later, her insights would bring her a MacArthur Foundation grant, the Nobel Prize, and long overdue recognition. At her recent death at age 90, she was widely acknowledged as one of the most significant figures in 20th-century science.

Evelyn Fox Keller's acclaimed biography, A Feeling for the Organism, gives us the full story of McClintock's pioneering—although sometimes professionally difficult—career in cytology and genetics. The book now appears in a special edition marking the 10th anniversary of its original publication.


Praise for A Feeling for the Organism, 10th Aniversary Edition

"A welcome and useful addition to the growing literature on the recent history of biology and women's achievements in science."—The New York Times

"Evelyn Fox Keller took on a heavy responsibility in writing about a woman with one of the most powerful intellects ever applied to science. This ambitious book has kept its promise."—Discover

"A brilliant and completely convincing book. I suspect the portrait drawn here is the most we shall ever learn about this remarkable woman."—Science 83

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Evelyn Fox Keller

  • Evelyn Fox Keller is Professor of History and Philosophy in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. She is the author of Secrets of Life, Secrets of Death and Reflections on Gender and Science.