by Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie

Prometheus Books, $17.00, 189 pages

It is surprising what some women have done with their lives. Marie Curie: A Biography explores the life of the Nobel Prize winning chemist, and the struggles that she faced throughout her life to be taken seriously in the chauvinistic world of science. Curie was not merely the aide of her husband Pierre, and it’s a shame that, despite their attempts to set the record straight, too many see her dress and not her scientific skill. She contributed to science in more ways than one, from discoveries to challenges with chauvinists to charities. She had an exciting life.

However, the book is not as exciting. There is too much of an emphasis on the facts, and not the person. There are a number of interesting facts on Curie given, and her meticulousness is noted at every turn, as well as why she did what she did. The book, however, mirrors its subject on a number of levels, gives little more than the facts of her life, and is shy about disclosing anything special about her. It’s not necessarily a bad book, but not one that will inspire, and that’s a shame considering Curie’s place in the pantheon of science.

Reviewed by Jamais Jochim