Watson, James D. | The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

  • First edition, first printing. The Double Helix is one of the most significant first-hand accounts of the scientific process written during the 20th-century. With "Pepys-like frankness," Watson describes science as it actually happens, including the frustrations, dead-ends, and gritty political battles. Richard Feynman praised Watson's account, writing that, "He has described admirably how it feels to have that frightening and beautiful experience of making a great scientific discovery".

    The Double Helix is also significant for Watson’s unashamed belittling of chemist Rosalind Franklin — whose work formed the basis for the determination of DNA’s structure — calling her by the nickname Rosy, which she had never used, and describing her in profoundly sexist ways. Watson has also become known in recent years for his racist views on human genetics.

  • New York: Atheneum, 1968.

    Octavo. Original blue boards, titles to spine gilt and to upper board in blind, red endpapers, top edge yellow. With the dust jacket. Diagrams and illustrations from photographs throughout the text. A little fading and rubbing along the edges of the boards. A very good copy in the price-clipped, rubbed, and nicked jacket with a short closed tear in the upper panel and two small chips from the lower panel, as well as some marks and scuffs.