Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age

Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age

Joel N. Shurkin

Language: English

Pages: 214


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

When William Shockley invented the transistor, the world was changed forever and he was awarded the Nobel Prize. But today Shockley is often remembered only for his incendiary campaigning about race, intelligence, and genetics. His dubious research led him to donate to the Nobel Prize sperm bank and preach his inflammatory ideas widely, making shocking pronouncements on the uselessness of remedial education and the sterilization of individuals with IQs below 100. Ultimately his crusade destroyed his reputation and saw him vilified on national television, yet he died proclaiming his work on race as his greatest accomplishment. Now, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joel N. Shurkin offers the first biography of this contradictory and controversial man. With unique access to the private Shockley archives, Shurkin gives an unflinching account of how such promise ended in such ignominy.





















committee mentioned the threat of violence, and Lyman rejected that out of hand. Shockley, he said, was no less qualified than a number of other SWOPSI instructors.90 The American Civil Liberties Union jumped to Shockley's defense, in this case at his direct request.91 Despite the pressure, Shockley never did teach the course. Other universities were not as forceful as Stanford in defending Shockley's rights. The Harvard Law Forum cancelled a debate between Shockley and Roy Innis, executive

perceptiveness are very important qualities of his,' she said, slipping into the present tense as she sometimes did almost a decade after his death. 'He was a very warm, sensitive, perceptive person.'41 Her opinion of his sensitivity puts her in a minority of one, and his former secretary, Mary Clouthier, contradicts her description. Clouthier says that in the 1960, Emmy's hearing began to fail, and often Shockley would tell her to do something that she did not hear. Unaware of her hearing loss,

William Bradford absences from home trip to Britain, India etc. (1944) Air Force Association Citation of Honor appendicitis arrives at MIT association with racist groups atheism bacterial infection birth birth of Alison birth of Richard birth of William boorish swimming pool behavior breaks off contact with Seitz business decisions buys first house buys flowers for Emmy buys house in Los Altos car crash chair at Stanford childhood

all. Why he did it then is also a mystery. He was not under any external pressure to ask for the divorce at that moment. There was no other woman; indeed there is no evidence he had been unfaithful. Nonetheless, that's when he told her. It was a few months later, in the autumn, that Shockley began thinking of another woman. Her name was Jeanine Roger, possibly from Rheims, France. They met in September or October of 1953 in Paris. He was serious enough to pen bad poems in mediocre French,

had this flaw or this was something that happened after the phone call from Bardeen and Brattain is unclear. It did not appear to have been a problem during the war. 'He was very attractive to bright young people,' Terman later explained, 'but was hard as hell to work for.'12 One man, R. V. Jones, resigned weeks after being hired. Shockley quickly began feuding with Dean Knapic, calling him a 'pathological liar.' Beckman was so disturbed at the quarrel he asked the New York psychological

Download sample