Lot 51
  • 51


12,000 - 18,000 USD
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  • "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!" Adventures of a Curious Character. As Told to Ralph Leighton. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1985.
  • paper, ink, cloth
8vo (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.), publisher's orange cloth & boards, in the original dust-jacket. Jacket price-clipped, spine panel sunned, otherwise near fine. 

Catalogue Note

FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING, SIGNED BY BOTH RICHARD FEYNMAN AND RALPH LEIGHTON ON FREE FRONT END-PAPER. An excellent memoir of the "Rock Star" of physics, Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman was edited from taped conversations that Feynman had with his close friend and drumming partner Ralph Leighton. Feynman was notorious for refusing to sign copies of his book, reportedly telling his editor "I'm not going to go on TV and I'm not going to sign any books!" - signed copies are thus rare, and those signed by both Feynman and Leighton even more so. 

"Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel prize in physics in 1965, is one of the world's greatest theoretical physicists. As any reader of this book will discover, he is also a man who has fallen, often jumped, into adventure. Feynman's life has in fact been a series of combustible combinations, improbable happenings made possible by his unique mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, eternal skepticism, and raging chutzpah. Feynman is perhaps the only person in the history of the world to solve the mystery of liquid helium and to be commissioned to paint a naked (female) toreador, to crack many of the most 'secure' safes at Los Alamos during development of the atomic bomb and to play a skillful frigideira in a Brazilian samba band, to explain physics to 'monster minds' like Einstein, Von Neumann, and Pauli, and to accompany ballet on the bongo drums, to be judged both mentally deficient by a United States Army psychiatrist and worth of the Nobel Prize by the Swedish Academy..." (Book jacket)