book-reviews

What Do You Care What Other People Think?

(mostly) by Richard P. Feynman

Rating: ★★★★

Essentially an extension of Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, this book contains more of the same amusing anecdotal biographical snippets which made the first book great. The two main distinctions here are one strand of stories about Feynman's first marriage (and wife), which bring out a more sombre mood that humanises him in a different way, and also a section -- much of the book -- covering his work on the Challenger investigation, which brings to a head some of the themes throughout this and the earlier anthology, including the necessity of looking at reality rather than living via social convention. In between these two arcs, we see some different perspectives on Feynman in the form of letters -- some by him, others merely about him -- which for the most part document some travels overseas.

A worthy addendum to Surely You're Joking, though perhaps not quite strong enough to stand by itself as an introduction, What Do You Care completes an accessible and enjoyable portrait of Feynman's life outside of his scientific work, so much as such a distinction can be drawn.