Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World

Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the WorldMauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World by Simon Garfield
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

British chemist William Perkin's life and discoveries detailed in the first half of the book were fascinating--I'd give the book 4.5 stars up to that point. Then I lost the thread of the narrative a bit and it meandered and finally petered out. Maybe the author was drawing a parallel to Perkin's life? As the book flap notes, "Perkin's discovery [synthetic dye] sparked new interest in industrial applications of chemistry research, which later brought about the development of explosives, perfume, photography, modern medicine, and today's plastics industry. Perkin is honored with the odd plaque and bust in colleges and chemistry clubs, but is otherwise a forgotten man."

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