Science and Natural History

Rare Science and Natural History Books for Sale Online

Browse rare first edition science and natural history books. Search for books in the fields of biology, medicine, chemistry, physics, and astronomy.  In addition, create your wish list,  and ask any questions about a specific product, or order online today.

Showing 1–24 of 345 results

  • First Edition of One Man's World; Inscribed to Andrew Young

    SINGH, Karan [Andrew Young].

    One Man’s World.

    New Dehli: Allied Publishers Private Limited , 1986.

    First edition of this work by the Indian politician. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to fellow politician Andrew Young, “To Mayor Andrew Young, a fellow citizen of the world. With warm personal regards Cornell Karan Singh 4 April 1986.” Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Edited by Kishore Gandhi. A nice association.

    Price: $275.00     Item Number: 119481

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  • Rare First Edition of Neil Armstrong's The Society of Experimental Test Pilots: 9th Annual Symposium Proceedings

    ARMSTRONG, Neil and Lt.Col. James A. McDivitt.

    The Society of Experimental Test Pilots: 9th Annual Symposium Proceedings – 1965 Report to the Aerospace Profession.

    Lancaster, California: Society of Experimental Test Pilots, 1965.

    First edition of this early work by Neil Armstrong, who contributed the article, Gemini Manned Flight Program To Date. Octavo, original illustrated wrappers, illustrated with photographs, drawings, tables, and charts. In near fine condition.

    Price: $850.00     Item Number: 119467

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  • Rare Contemporary Autographs of Each the 1962 Nobel Prize-Winning Scientists

    WATSON, James D.; Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins.

    James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins Autographs.

    1962.

    Signatures of each of the scientists who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, each signed during the Nobel Week of 1962, “James Dewey Watson, December 5, 1962,” “Francis Crick, 10th December 1962,” and “M. H. F. Wilkins,” each signed on individual off-white cards, with a portrait of each above. In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 16 inches by 23.5 inches. Contemporary signatures of these scientists are rare.

    Price: $3,500.00     Item Number: 117398

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  • “WHEN IN DOUBT, SAY NOTHING AND MOVE ON”: FIRST EDITION OF ARTHUR C. CLARKE'S RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA; INSCRIBED BY HIM to Book Critic John Barkham

    CLARKE, Arthur C.

    Rendezvous with Rama.

    New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1973.

    First edition of this science fiction cornerstone. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author in the year of publication on the half-title page, “To John Barkham, with all good wishes, Arthur C. Clarke, N.Y.C. 23 July 1973.” Barkham, a book critic, reviewed thousands of books primarily on contemporary history and Africa over fifty years. His reviews appeared frequently in The New York Times Book Review, The New York World-Telegram, The New York Post and in syndication across the country. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Hal Siegel. Photograph of the author by Peter M. Castellano.

    Price: $1,500.00     Item Number: 119228

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  • "For my friend Larry Pressler, with respect and thanks": Al Gore's Earth in the Balance; Inscribed by Him to Fellow Senator Larry Pressler

    GORE, Al.

    Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit.

    New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992.

    First edition, early printing of the author’s classic work. Octavo, original half cloth. Association copy, lengthily inscribed by the author in the year of publication on the front free endpaper, “For my friend Larry Pressler, with respect and thanks, Al Gore 2/19/92 (P.S. You were kind to purchase a book, and I wanted you to have this one too.)” The recipient Larry Pressler was a colleague of Gore’s in the United States Senate and close friend. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Michaela Sullivan. Photograph of the author by Terry Ashe.

    Price: $600.00     Item Number: 119478

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  • “The destiny a person suffers therefore has a twofold meaning: to be shaped where possible, and to be endured where necessary": First Edition of Viktor E. Frankl's The Doctor and the Soul; Signed by Him

    FRANKL, Viktor E.

    The Doctor and the Soul: An Introduction to Logotherapy.

    New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1955.

    First edition of Frankl’s classic work which explores topics on the meaning of life in general as well as the meaning of specific areas of one’s life, such as work and personal relationships. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in the year of publication, “To Mrs. Norma Phil- Cips Viktor Frankl May 1st 1955 Chicago.” Bookplate of the recipient to the front pastedown, near fine in a good dust jacket. Typography, binding and jacket design by Herbert Bayer. Translated from the German by Richard and Clara Winston.

    Price: $7,500.00     Item Number: 119462

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  • "With love, Stephen": Extraordinarily rare presentation copy of Stephen Hawking's The Occurrences of Singularities in Cosmology; warmly inscribed by him

    HAWKING, Stephen.

    The Occurrences of Singularities in Cosmology.

    Extraordinarily rare presentation copy of one of Hawking’s most important papers, one of a very small number of his works that he signed before his worsening motor neuron disease made it impossible for him to sign. Octavo, four pages, signed by Stephen Hawking in the upper left corner, “With love, Stephen.” The occurrence of singularities in cosmology was the second paper Hawking published on the occurrences of singularities, or black holes, following the submission of his PhD thesis, Properties of Expanding Universes, in which he examined the implications and consequences of the expansion of the universe. In the final chapter of his thesis, Hawking concluded, “It is shown that a singularity is inevitable provided that certain very general conditions are satisfied.” This conclusion established the trajectory of his future work, as well as his style of combining popularizing flair with a willingness to challenge received wisdom. Hawking published the present paper in 1966 during his research fellowship at Gonville and Caius in addition to his extended essay Singularities and the geometry of space-time which would win the Adams Prize, one of the University of Cambridge’s most prestigious awards, and contained his assessment: “Undoubtedly, the most important results are the theorems in Chapter 5 on the occurrence of singularities. These seem to imply either that the General Theory of Relativity breaks down or that there could be particles whose histories did not exist before (or after) a certain time. The author’s own opinion is that the theory probably does break down but only when quantum gravitational effects become important.” In very good condition with light staining to the lower portion of the paper. From the personal collection of Stephen Hawking.

    Price: $95,000.00     Item Number: 119730

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  • Stephen Hawking's Black Holes and Baby Universes; signed by him with his thumbprint

    HAWKING, Stephen.

    Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays.

    Toronto: Bantam Books, 1994.

    Early printing of the Bantam Press edition of Hawking’s first collection of essays. Octavo, original illustrated wrappers. Signed by Stephen Hawking on the title page with his thumbprint in silver ink. Hawking was diagnosed with a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neuron disease (MND, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 1963 at the age of 21, yet his fierce independence and unwillingness to make concessions for his disabilities allowed him to continue his work, even as his motor functions (including his ability to write) and ability to speak deteriorated. In fine condition. Cover photograph by Jim Wilson. Cover illustration by Richard Tuschman. From the personal collection of Stephen Hawking.

    Price: $12,500.00     Item Number: 119530

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  • "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind": Rare Foil Etching; signed by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin

    ARMSTRONG, Neil. Buzz Aldrin.

    Apollo 11 Etching, Signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

    1969.

    Rare foil etching of a John Berkey painting entitled “One Giant Leap,” which depicts Neil Armstrong standing on the surface of the moon, with Buzz Aldrin, the Lunar Module Eagle, the Earth, and image of the rocket launch, orbiting Command Module Columbia, and the American flag visible in the background. The foil etch is affixed to the original presentation mount, which is signed by all three members of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 25 by 21 inches. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable.

    Price: $9,200.00     Item Number: 119675

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  • Rare typed letter signed by Albert Einstein to Hugo Bergmann

    EINSTEIN, Albert.

    Albert Einstein Typed Letter Signed.

    1936.

    Rare typed letter signed by Albert Einstein. One page, typescript, text in German. The letter is dated 19 June 1936 and addressed to Dr. Hugo Bergman, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and reads: Lieber Herr Bergmann: Ueberbringer dieses Briefes ist “Seine amerikanische Heiligkeit” Rabbi Silberfeld von Newark New Jersey, ein guter Bekannter von mir. Zuhause aller Wege kundig, nicht aber in Palaestina. Es ware lieb von Ihnen, wenn Sie ihm ein paar Winke gaben damit er sich dort zurechtfindet. Herzlich grusst Sie Ihr “A. Einstein.” This translates as: Dear Mr. Bergmann: The bearer of this letter is “His American Holiness” Rabbi Silberfeld of Newark New Jersey, a good friend of mine. At home, he knows all the ways, but not in Palestine. It would be nice of you if you gave him a few hints. yours, “A. Einstein.” Einstein’s close personal friend Rabbi Julius Silberfeld was the rabbi of Temple B’nai Abraham in Newark New Jersey from 1902 to 1939. After it became clear that he could not return to Germany with Hitler’s rise to power during his 1933 visit to the United States, Einstein resided in England and Belgium for several months before returning to the U.S. where he accepted a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, noted for having become a refuge for scientists fleeing Nazi Germany. It was here that he likely met and formed a close bond with Rabbi Silberfeld. The recipient of the letter, Hugo Bergmann, was the first rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, between 1935 and 1938, which Einstein was instrumental in establishing in 1925 and was among its first Board of Governors. The letter is in near fine condition with a small paper clip imprint. Desirable with noted provenance.

    Price: $6,500.00     Item Number: 119849

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  • First Edition of Bertrand Russell's The Scientific Outlook; Signed by Him

    RUSSELL, Bertrand.

    The Scientific Outlook.

    New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1931.

    First edition of this classic work by the Nobel Prize-winning author. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Bertrand Russell on the front pastedown. With a note from the recipient that it was signed in 1931. An exceptional example with noted provenance.

    Price: $2,800.00     Item Number: 119625

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  • Rare Isaac Newton Manuscript highlighting his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for hundreds of years

    NEWTON, Isaac.

    Isaac Newton Original Manuscript.

    Rare full page folio autograph manuscript entirely in the hand of Isaac Newton, father of physics and modern science and author of important texts such as the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Opticks, and many more. One folio page with Newton’s handwriting and emendations on both the recto and verso. While Newton is mostly known for his scientific and mathematical pursuits and is considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time, his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for centuries, were as brilliant as his science and an extension of his search for truth. Many believe theology was actually his first love, as he wrote more about religion than he did about science. Of Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he stated, “When I wrote my treatise about our Systeme I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the beliefe of a Deity and nothing can rejoyce me more than to find it useful for that purpose”. He wrote in the Principa, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. . . . This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all. . . . The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.” While he believed in a supreme God, early in his career at Trinity College, his theological research of original texts led him to believe that authentic Christianity had been corrupted by the early church fathers and that the brand of religion that was now accepted as orthodox by the Roman Catholic Church, and to some extent by the Church of England, was not completely true. He discovered that the final phrases of 1 John 5:7  ‘and these three are one’ was not present in any Greek version that he studied and came to the conclusion that it was a deliberate addition to the text to provide justification for the doctrine of the Trinity. He concluded that the orthodox notion of the Trinity was a fictional story that was invented in the early fourth century. This document is very important, as its contents deal with these controversial issues. Written in English and some Latin, he writes concerning an Epistle of Emperor Constantine regarding the Arian debate and the Council of Nicea, which laid out the famous doctrinal statement, the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed was adopted to resolve the Arian controversy. The Arian leader, Arius, a clergyman of Alexandria, “objected to Alexander’s (the bishop of the time) apparent carelessness in blurring the distinction of nature between the Father and the Son by his emphasis on eternal generation”. In reply, Alexander accused Arius of denying the divinity of the Son and also of being too “Jewish” and “Greek” in his thought. Alexander and his supporters created the Nicene Creed to clarify the key tenets of the Christian faith in response to the widespread adoption of Arius’ doctrine, which was henceforth marked as heresy. Because of these views, Newton’s theological writings, were marked “Not fit to be printed”. They were placed in storage and were not made available to the public until the economist John Maynard Keynes and Jewish scholar and businessman, Abraham Yahuda, acquired many of them in 1936. There are very few of these original writings left in private hands, as the majority of the manuscripts are in the permanent collections of the Cambridge University Library, Kings College Library (a gift of John Maynard Keynes), Jewish National and University Library (now National Library of Israel), the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the Foundation Martin Bodmer in Geneva, and the Grace K. Babson collection now housed in the Huntington Library in California. Matted and framed with both the recto and verso visible. The manuscript measures 11.75 inches by 7.5 inches. The entire piece measures 23.5 inches by 19.5 inches. A scarce piece of history; essential to the collector interested in both Newton’s scientific and theological endeavors.

     

     

     

    Price: $150,000.00     Item Number: 119750

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  • First edition of Atul Gawande's Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science; signed and dated by him

    Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science.

    New York: Metropolitan Books, 2002.

    First edition of American surgeon Atul Gawande’s collection of gripping surgical memoirs. Octavo, original half cloth. Signed and dated by the author on the title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by John Candell. Jacket photograph by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

    Price: $375.00     Item Number: 119405

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  • First edition of both volumes of Green, Schwarz, and Witten's Superstring Theory; from the library of Stephen Hawking

    GREEN, Michael B.; John H. Schwarz and Edward Witten. [Stephen Hawking].

    Superstring Theory.

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

    First edition of the fundamental text on superstring theory. Octavo, original cloth. From the library of Stephen Hawking with his bookplates to the front free endpapers. A wonderful connection on this book, which Hawking likely used in his development of his final paper based on string theory, called “A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation”, which had its latest revisions approved on March 4, ten days before Hawking’s death. Hawking met the authors at many conferences, as they were in the same field, including at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai. Both volumes are fine in a fine dust jacket. An exceptionally desirable provenance.

    Price: $7,500.00     Item Number: 119483

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  • Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species;

    DARWIN, Charles.

    On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

    London: John Murray, 1869.

    Sixth edition, one of 2,000 copies of “certainly the most important biological book ever written” (Freeman). Octavo, bound in original cloth, gilt titles to the spine. In near fine  condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box. A nice presentation.

    Price: $1,750.00     Item Number: 119959

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  • Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species; From the Library of Explorer Steve Fossett

    DARWIN, Charles.

    On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

    London: John Murray, 1869.

    Fifth edition, one of 2,000 copies of “certainly the most important biological book ever written” (Freeman), one of 1250 copies. Octavo, bound in half calf over marbled boards, all edges marbled, half-title. From the library of James Stephen “Steve” Fossett with his bookplate to the pastedown. American businessman and record-setting aviator Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in 2002 in his 10-story high balloon Spirit of Freedom. He completed the 2002 trip in 13 days, 8 hours, and 33 minutes and set records for both the Longest Distance Flown Solo in a Balloon and Fastest Balloon Flight Around the World. Fossett was also one of sailing’s most prolific distance record holders set the Absolute World Speed Record for airships with a Zeppelin NT in 2004. He received numerous awards and honors throughout his career including aviation’s highest award, the Gold Medal of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which he was awarded in 2002. Fossett disappeared on September 3, 2007 while flying a light aircraft over the Great Basin Desert, between Nevada and California. In very good condition.

    Price: $1,750.00     Item Number: 119774

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  • First edition of Euan Hillhouse Methven Cox's Farrer's Last Journey

    COX, Euan Hillhouse Methven.

    Farrer’s Last Journey: Upper Burma, 1919-20.

    London: Dulau & Co. Ltd, 1926.

    First edition of Cox’s account of his journey with great English botanist Reginald Farrer to the Burmese Alps. Octavo, original cloth, cartographic endpapers, with 28 illustrations from photographs by the author including frontispiece. In near fine condition with light toning to the page edges.

    Price: $95.00     Item Number: 119680

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  • First edition of Volume 37 Number 1 of Reviews of Modern Physics; containing Roger Penrose's fundamental article on spacetime: A Remarkable Property of Plane Waves in General Relativity; signed by him

    PENROSE, Roger.

    Reviews in Modern Physics: A Remarkable Property of Plane Waves in General Relativity.

    New York: The American Physical Society by the American Institute of Physics, 1965.

    First edition of Reviews of Modern Physics: Volume 37 Number 1 , containing Nobel Laureate in Physics Roger Penrose’s fundamental article on spacetime: A Remarkable Property of Plane Waves in General Relativity. Quarto, original wrappers. Signed and dated by the mathematical physicist on page 215, the first page of his contribution, “Roger P 20 Sept 2016.” In fine condition. Scarce signed by Penrose.

    Price: $2,800.00     Item Number: 119437

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  • "The Greatest Work In The History of Science": Rare First American Edition Newton’s Principia

    NEWTON, Isaac.

    Newton’s Principia. The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.

    New York: Published by Ivison & Phinney , 1846.

    First American edition of Isaac Newton’s Principia. Octavo, bound in full sheepskin, original spine label, frontispiece. Text lightly toned, a near fine example of this landmark work, rebacked. Translated by Andrew Motte. Rare.

    Price: $5,500.00     Item Number: 118965

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  • “The mountains are calling and I must go": John Muir's The Mountains of California; in the rare original dust jacket

    MUIR, John.

    The Mountains of California.

    New York: The Century Company, 1903.

    Early printing of Muir’s classic work on the mountains of California. Octavo, original cloth, frontispiece, illustrated throughout, top edge gilt. Near fine in the rare original dust jacket with light rubbing and wear.

    Price: $1,600.00     Item Number: 118748

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  • First edition of Erwin Schrödinger's What is Life? The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell; In the Rare Original Dust Jacket

    SCHRöDINGER, Erwin.

    What Is Life? The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell.

    Cambridge: University Press, 1944.

    Rare first edition of this collection of lectures by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist in which he presents the early theoretical description of the storage of genetic information cited by Crick and Watson as a source of inspiration for their initial research into the discovery of DNA. Small octavo, original cloth. Near fine in the rare original dust jacket which is in very good condition with a small stain to the front panel.

    Price: $2,000.00     Item Number: 119034

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  • First Edition of J. Robert Oppenheimer's The Open Mind; Inscribed by Him to Best Friend and Confidant Ruth Sherman Tolman

    OPPENHEIMER, J. Robert.

    The Open Mind.

    New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955.

    First edition of Oppenheimer’s selected lectures on nuclear weapons and popular culture. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in the year of publication, “for Ruth, with my love Robert Christmas 1955.” The recipient, Ruth Sherman Tolman was the wife of Richard C. Tolman, and was Robert Oppenheimer’s best friend and confidant. A brilliant psychologist in her own right, she helped lead the effort to make psychology a science, held a key post with the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA, and established some of the first treatments for battle fatigue, which we know today as PTSD. Robert Oppenheimer, the Father of the Atomic Bomb, head of the Manhattan Project, and the founder of modern theoretical physics in America, became a friend of the Tolman’s while in his 20s, staying at their guest house during his time spent going between Caltech and UC Berkeley. Robert and Ruth were rumored to have had a long-running affair, which was disavowed by those who knew them, but recent books have renewed that debate. It is known that Ruth destroyed many of his letters, although some have come to light. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Peter Hollander.

    Price: $6,500.00     Item Number: 118352

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  • "We are told that the trouble with Modern Man is that he has been trying to detach himself from nature": First Edition of Lewis Thomas' Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher; Inscribed by Him

    THOMAS, Lewis.

    Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher.

    New York: The Viking Press, 1974.

    First edition of this classic work. Octavo, original half cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Margaret Carson with regards Lewis Thomas.” Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Rare and desirable signed.

    Price: $975.00     Item Number: 118459

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  • "AMERICA'S PROMETHEUS, 'THE FATHER OF THE ATOMIC BOMB'": J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER'S SCIENCE AND THE COMMON UNDERSTANDING, 1954, PUBLISHED THE SAME YEAR THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION REVOKED HIS SECURITY CLEARANCE; Inscribed by Him to Best Friend and Confidant Ruth Sherman Tolman and with a autographed signed letter

    OPPENHEIMER, J. Robert.

    Science and the Common Understanding.

    New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954.

    First edition of this classic work by the father of the atomic bomb. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in the year of publication, “For Ruth in gratitude & love Robert May – June 1954,” The recipient, Ruth Sherman Tolman was the wife of Richard C. Tolman, and she was Robert Oppenheimer’s best friend and confidant. A brilliant psychologist in her own right, she helped lead the effort to make psychology a science, held a key post with the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA, and established some of the first treatments for battle fatigue, which we know today as PTSD. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, head of the Manhattan Project, and the founder of modern theoretical physics in America, became a friend of the Tolman’s while in his 20s, staying at their guest house during his time spent going between Caltech and UC Berkeley. Robert and Ruth were rumored to have had a long-running affair, which was disavowed by those who knew them, but recent books have renewed that debate. Laid in is a note on Oppenheimer’s Institute For Advanced Study letterhead which reads, “Ruth dear, Most of these you have seen at one time or another, but perhaps you would like to have them neat & tidy… The S F Talk is still on its way, & I don’t yet have it. There is a long letter in me urging to be written to you – it should reach you before this.” It is known that Ruth destroyed many of his letters, although some have come to light. While this note doesn’t settle that debate, it does, along with the inscription, indicate the intimacy that they shared. Additionally laid in is the original errata slip and two clipped articles. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Peter Hollander.

    Price: $8,000.00     Item Number: 118622

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