"Veteran science writer Charles Seife’s warts-and-all biography doesn’t hold back from exploring Hawking’s less appealing sides. This is long overdue—not so much because Hawking needs cutting down to size, but because he needs to be rehumanised. ... Hawking’s life is worth celebrating, but if we make it a myth then it becomes just a story onto which we can project our anxieties and fantasies."—Philip Ball, Prospect Magazine
"Seife’s focus is not on Hawking as a powerful scientist but, rather, on Hawking as a dazzling public image, a cultural icon....The outrage this book will generate among Hawking’s admirers will pique the interest of the curious."—Bryce Christensen, Booklist
“[An] engrossing, sometimes unsettling account....The author’s excellent explanation of Hawking’s science makes this a top-notch biography of a significant scientific figure, but Seife also produces a uniquely disturbing portrait of deliberate mythmaking....An unflattering yet outstanding biography of a giant of 20th-century physics.”—Kirkus
"Seife puts Hawking's scientific contributions into context, and looks behind the inspiring yet tragic tale of a genius trapped inside a useless body. A much needed book."—Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math
In Hawking Hawking, science journalist Charles Seife explores how Stephen Hawking came to be thought of as humanity's greatest genius. Hawking spent his career grappling with deep questions in physics, but his renown didn't rest on his science. He was a master of self-promotion, hosting parties for time travelers, declaring victory over problems he had not solved, and wooing billionaires. Confined to a wheelchair and physically dependent on a cadre of devotees, Hawking still managed to captivate the people around him--and use them for his own purposes.