Obsessive Genius, the Inner world of Marie Curie, by Barbara Goldsmith


The title "Obsessive Genius" refers to many different sides of Marie Curie's life. Some may have considered her story to be somewhat of a feminist message but the title describes the "person", not just the woman behind the research and the life that went with it. 

Marva Salomee Sklodowska, Marie Curie, was born in Poland and a naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity.  She went to Paris and got her degrees at the Sorbonne and then spent most of her life in France. Her singular passion was for her work but that changed when she met Pierre Curie. Her obsessive passion for work, studies, research, and her husband, were complex and present a very interesting woman. Their first Nobel Prize in 1903 was a mutual effort but her second came later in her life and was clearly something that she could not be denied. She was denied the opportunity to co-accept the first award and sit in the audience. She had done much if not most of the work.

Like the book Einstein, by Walter Isaacson, this book lets you see a life through the lens of a particular science. In both cases you learn about both the person and the science. This type of biography lets you see the historical events you thought you knew all about very differently through the lens of a particular person and the science that fills their life. The book is well done and well worth reading.

Quotes By The Author & Marie Curie


"The rare female scientist was depicted as masculine, coarse, ugly, careworn and industrious but making no significant contribution.- Barbara Goldsmith



”Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas"-Marie Curie 

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less" - Marie Curie  


"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." - Marie Curie