The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA.

First Edition of The Double Helix; Inscribed by Him to close friend Francis Sutton

The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA.

WATSON, James D.


Item Number: 99462

New York: Atheneum, 1968.

First edition of Watson’s ground breaking work regarding the discovery of DNA for which the author, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1962. Octavo, original blue cloth, with numerous diagrams and photographic illustrations. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Frank from Jim Watson.” The recipient was Ford Foundation sociologist Francis Sutton. Sutton and Watson were at Harvard simultaneously and were close friends. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Jeanyee Wong. Foreword by Sir Lawrence Bragg. Association copies seldom enter the market.

"Science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders," writes James Watson in The Double Helix, his account of his codiscovery (along with Francis Crick) of the structure of DNA. Watson, Crick and Maurice Wilkins won Nobel Prizes for their work, and their names are memorized by biology students around the world. But as in all of history, the real story behind the deceptively simple outcome was messy, intense, and sometimes truly hilarious. To preserve the "real" story for the world, James Watson attempted to record his first impressions as soon after the events of 1951-1953 as possible, with all their unpleasant realities and "spirit of adventure" intact. "One of the investigators, more than any of the others, realized the decisive importance of the DNA molecules in biology, and it was this understanding which urged him relentlessly to push this work toward a successful conclusion, in spite of his rather modest technical qualifications for this task" (Mayr, 823). "He has described admirably how it feels to have that frightening and beautiful experience of making a great scientific discovery" (Richard Feynman, winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize for Physics).

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