From the first words of Lawrence J. Henderson’s opening lecture, “It all begins with water,” Aaron Weiss was riveted by the unconventional young professor’s way of thinking. Henderson’s quest for a greater understanding of the world had led him from the simple study of acid-base equilibrium to an examination of cosmic questions related to the “fit” between the properties of the most basic elements–hydrogen, carbon and oxygen–and how society, viewed as a regulated system, bears remarkable similarities to this fit on a grand scale. A systems theory advocate, Henderson’s studies and writings gave rise to the concepts of dynamic equilibrium and to the Gaia hypothesis, which views the earth as a vast organism.
As his assistant, Aaron is witness to Henderson’s development of these theories. Away from New York’s Lower East Side for the first time, Aaron is forced to confront the differences between his own world, with its strong family ties and deep roots in Eastern European scholarship, and the world of Dr. Henderson, a leader of the Harvard establishment and one of the Boston Brahmins. The story is set against the background of the powerful social and intellectual forces of the time: World War I, the rise of fascism, the Sacco-Vanzetti trial, and the growing anti-Semitism at Harvard and elsewhere.
Advance Praise for Henderson’s Equation:
“As a reader, I was swept away by the narrative and deeply moved by the characters. It is smart, gripping, poignant. I’m no judge of fiction, but I do know fine writing. This is it. Best of all, it contained a wonderfully panoramic view of 20th century American science and history. I was—as my children like to say—blown away.” —David Oshinsky, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Polio: An American Story
by Jerome Lowenstein, M.D.
Henderson’s Equation is available as an e-book through Amazon. Click here for details.