Nobel: A Century of Prize Winners
edited by Michael Worek
Firefly Books, 2008
$24.95, 320 pp, b/w photos, index, ages 13+
Upon his death in 1896, the enormously rich Alfred Nobel bequeathed a considerable portion of his fortune to be used to establish prizes to be given “to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.” The five original prizes were awarded for outstanding contributions to physics, chemistry, medicine/physiology, literature and peace. In 1968, a prize for economics was established. The story of the Nobel prizes and the man who chose to use his fortune in this way is fascinating, and this collection of profiles of prize recipients is equally interesting and inspiring. The book begins with an Introduction outlining the history of the prizes; the remainder is organized by decade—a complete annotated list of all recipients is provided for each ten-year period from 1901 to 2007, accompanied by one-page profiles of a selection of these outstanding people. Providing a perspective of this period of human history and a glimpse into the lives of some extraordinary people, this book can be used as a reference tool or simply to browse out of interest.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s May 2009 issue.