From a beginning in an Egyptian delta town and the port of Alexandria to the scenic vistas of sunny southern California, Ahmed Zewail takes us on a voyage through time — his own life and the split-second world of the femtosecond. In this endearing exposé of his life and work until his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1999, he draws lessons from his life story so far, and he meditates on the impact which the revolution in science has had on our modern world — in both developed and developing countries. What makes the book enchanting and engaging is Zewail's emphasis on the human dimension and his unique ability to paint the journey of Life and Science with insightful analogies and ingenious metaphors.But this inspiring book goes far beyond the usual province of an autobiography. Zewail integrates the two worlds he equally belongs to — Egypt and America — and, despite differences, he emphasizes the confluence of the two cultures — the East and the West. He rejects the view that the current state of the world is due to a clash of civilizations or a conflict of religions, and suggests a concrete course of action for the world of the have-nots. The book ends with his road map for a partnership between developed and developing worlds. Throughout the book, Zewail takes on the mantle of philosopher, historian and even political and economic adviser.

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