Beautifully written and richly detailed, Samanth Subramanian’s A Dominant Character recounts J. B. S. Haldane’s boisterous life and examines the questions he raised about the intersections of genetics and politics.
Subramanian “does a great job of capturing Haldane’s early influences, especially that of his father, and how they led him to the life of science and politics that he led. Most of all, Haldane’s relentless restless curiosity comes through,” said a review in goodreads.com.
Subramanian “has written a well-researched biography that can help revive interest in one of 20th century’s most fascinating characters,” it added.
“The science in the book is very well reported — clear for a lay audience. Subramanian must be a competent communicator of science himself, besides being a good biographer,” it added.
It said the book “discusses both virtues and vices of Haldane. It does a good job of conveying the extraordinary persona of Haldane and how he was who he was.”
Subramanian is the author of two books of reportage, Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast and This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War.