stephen hawking an unfettered mind

This compelling new biography paints a rich picture of Stephen Hawking as a courageous, indomitable man, a brilliant scientist, sometime iconoclast, and international celebrity – whose life story should be a revelation for all who might be inclined to think that disability or illness must diminish a person. When Oliver Sacks spoke of “a kind of health, a strength and grace that go beyond the depths of any illness,” he could have been describing Stephen Hawking.

Written with Hawking’s encouragement and help, the book follows him from childhood through school, Oxford, graduate work at Cambridge when he was diagnosed with ALS and given two years to live, and onward in his pitched battle not merely for survival but for nothing less than a full scientific understanding of the universe. He celebrated his 75th birthday in January 2017.

Sub-chapters telling Hawking’s personal story alternate with others about his amazing theories, written in language understandable to non-scientists. The result is a moving, in-depth, definitive biography — and a wonderful read.