A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of J.B.S. Haldane Audiobook, by Samanth Subramanian Play Audiobook Sample

A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of J.B.S. Haldane Audiobook

A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of J.B.S. Haldane Audiobook, by Samanth Subramanian Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Jonathan Cowley Publisher: Highbridge Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 9.33 hours at 1.5x Speed 7.00 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: July 2020 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781684579853

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

57:03 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

23:01 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

46:18 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

A biography of J. B. S. Haldane, the brilliant and eccentric British scientist whose innovative predictions inspired Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

J. B. S. Haldane's life was rich and strange, never short on genius or drama—from his boyhood apprenticeship to his scientist father, who first instilled in him a devotion to the scientific method; to his time in the trenches during the First World War, where he wrote his first scientific paper; to his numerous experiments on himself, including inhaling dangerous levels of carbon dioxide and drinking hydrochloric acid; to his clandestine research for the British Admiralty during the Second World War. He is best remembered as a geneticist who revolutionized our understanding of evolution, but his peers hailed him as a polymath.

He foresaw in vitro fertilization, peak oil, and the hydrogen fuel cell, and his contributions ranged over physiology, genetics, evolutionary biology, mathematics, and biostatistics. He was also a staunch Communist, which led him to Spain during the Civil War and sparked suspicions that he was spying for the Soviets. He wrote copiously on science and politics in newspapers and magazines, and he gave speeches in town halls and on the radio—all of which made him, in his day, as famous in Britain as Einstein.

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“It can be read with the utmost pleasure by everyone who likes to admire a fine intellect in action and to see respect paid to outstanding intelligence.”

— Wall Street Journal 


  • “Superb…Subramanian does a masterly job of summarizing a rich and rough life.”

    — The Times (London)
  • “Fascinating…With science so politicized in this country and abroad, the book could be an allegory for every scientist who wants to take a stand.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “Should prove engaging to readers interested in the birth of genetics and in the intersection of science and political belief.”

    — Science


  • Shortlisted for the 2021 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography
  • A Wall Street Journal Pick of 10 Best Books of the Year
  • A New York Times Notable Book of 2020

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About Samanth Subramanian

Samanth Subramanian is an award-winning writer whose journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the London GuardianHarper’s, and Wired.

About Jonathan Cowley

Jonathan Cowley, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a British actor hailing from Eastbourne, East Sussex, but he currently calls Los Angeles home. He has narrated many audiobooks and can also be heard on both sides of the Atlantic narrating film trailers and documentaries. He is also an active television and film actor who has appeared in Grey’s Anatomy, Veep, and WestWorld.