The Double Helix

By James D. Watson,

Book cover of The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

Book description

One of the two discoverers of DNA recalls the lively scientific quest that led to this breakthrough, from the long hours in the lab, to the after-hours socializing, to the financial struggles that almost sank their project. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

2 authors picked The Double Helix as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

James Watson was a clever, pushy, and critical young American molecular biologist exposed to the scientific culture of Britain in the early 1950s.

The book is full of acerbic comments about “stuffy” Cambridge dons and the rules of etiquette that young Jim struggled with, all the while scheming to maintain the various fellowships that allowed him to remain in the UK and pursue his ambition: to understand the chemical nature of the genetic material, DNA.

The book provides a lively account of his collaboration with an older Brit, the brilliant Francis Crick, who was also trying to unscramble DNA. Much…

This is where it all began.  In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick solved the mystery of the chemical structure of DNA. Their famous “double helix” laid the foundation for modern biochemistry. In his first-hand account, Watson displays not only scientific brilliance, but a deeply flawed personality. As he reveals in later writings, Watson came to regret many things, including his sidelining of Rosalind Franklin, whose x-ray images enabled him and Crick to decipher the elusive structure of the DNA molecule. The Double Helix illuminates not only one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the twentieth century, but the seamy…

From Jorge's list on genetics for the general reader.

Want books like The Double Helix?

Our community of 9,000+ authors has personally recommended 83 books like The Double Helix.

Browse books like The Double Helix

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in DNA, the scientific method, and genetics?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about DNA, the scientific method, and genetics.

DNA Explore 32 books about DNA
The Scientific Method Explore 41 books about the scientific method
Genetics Explore 38 books about genetics