Now in paperback, the droll memoir by a world-class physicist that includes recollections of his involvement with pioneering laser research, encounters with many of the most recognizable literary, cultural, and entertainment figures of the 20th century, and his role in teaching ESP techniques to the CIA--a real-life X-Files saga.
Russll Targ is a Zelig-like character. His story is an idiosyncratic journey through the highways and byways of American intellectual, scientific, and cultural life in 20th century. His father (the long-time editor-in-chief at Putnam) acquired The Godfather on the basis of an outline scribbled on the back of a napkin. His mother was the first press agent of the fan dancer Sally Rand. His step-mother is the legendary literary agent Rosalind Targ. He was married for thirty years to the sister of the infamous chess master Bobby Fischer. He briefly dated Henny Youngman’s cousin. He attended college with Alan Alda’s wife, Arlene. He was part of Ayn Rand’s study group in the 1950s--along with economist Alan Greenspan. He was a pioneer in laser research. He spent many years developing air-borne laser wind sensors for Lockheed and NASA. He co-founded the Stanford Research Institute remote viewing program--which was funded by the CIA--and was instrumental in tracking Soviet and Chinese weapon installations during the Cold War. And, he is a legally blind motorcyclist—who happens to be a Buddhist.
This is a fascinating memoir by a first-class intellect; the story of a physicist who has pushed the boundaries of siceince to explory the realms of parapsychology, spirituality, and the unexplained.