Thomas A. Bass

Selected Works

Review of Ken Burns's Vietnam
"This is an eye-opening, disturbing, and altogether fascinating account of censorship in contemporary Vietnam." —Tim O'Brien
“This book is precious. It makes a real contribution to our struggle for liberty and democracy in Vietnam.”
—Bui Tin
The Vietnam War and Pham Xuan An's Dangerous Game
"I was deeply impressed by this book."
—John le Carré
"A team of physicists take on the bull market of the late 1990s with hilarious results." —Reader's Catalogue
"A funny and outrageous tale of gambling and high tech."
—Tracy Kidder
"It will undoubtedly prove to be one of the essential documents about that war."
—Tobias Wolff
"A disturbing and totally compelling account."
—Maxine Kumin
"Thomas Bass overwhelmingly fulfills his intention to convey the incredible richness Africa offers the inquiring mind. He explores the continent with impeccable research, enthusiasm, wry humor, and unsentimental humanity."
—Nadine Gordimer
Iconoclasts, rebels, and Nobel prize winners talk about science as the dominant metaphor of the twentieth century.
"In Reinventing the Future we get close to the minds of eleven restless individuals who do not dot the 'i's in sentences written by others."
—James D. Watson
Magazine Articles
April 8, 1996. All hell has broken loose in the Chicago exchanges.
Wearables are already bringing us "heads up, hands free" augmented reality in the workplace.
On the advice of an astrologer, Nguyen Van Thieu, South Vietnam's last president, changed his birthday to a more auspicious day. The spirits were not fooled.
A profile of Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab

Camping with the Prince and Other Tales of Science in Africa


"Bass’s multidimensional view of Africa is a refreshing change from the traditional travelogue. Writing in a lucid and introspective style, he combines a unique perception of Africa’s past, present, and future. After reading Camping with the Prince, one is rewarded with a new appreciation of Africa’s magic."
— Donald Johanson, author of Lucy’s Child

"Bass overwhelmingly fulfills his intention to convey the incredible richness Africa offers the inquiring mind. He explores the continent with impeccable research, enthusiasm, wry humor, and unsentimental humanity. Beautifully written, this is quite simply the best book on the subject since Rene Dumont’s False Start in Africa."
— Nadine Gordimer

"The Prince of the title was only a tourist, but the African scientists Thomas Bass visits for us are a royally enjoyable lot, humans seized with extraordinary puzzles and with the wit and hope to work on them. The book is a one-of-a-kind."
— Phillip Morrision, author of PBS series "The Ring of Truth"

"Lively and very readable accounts of some ongoing scientific projects in present day Africa. Background descriptions and character sketches of the people involved will convey vivid pictures of the conditions under which these projects are being carried out, even to readers unfamiliar with Africa."
— Mary Leakey

"I thoroughly enjoyed camping with Bass. His angle on Africa is ecological and scientific, and told me many things I hadn’t known before: as witty as it’s wise, as readable as it’s realistic—a book at the top of a difficult class. Strongly recommended."
— Basil Davidson, author of Can Africa Survive?

"Read Thomas Bass’s seminal book.... It not only gives reasons for not despairing of Africa; it suggests why it is in our self-interest to help a continent in crisis."
— Michael Holman, Financial Times

"[Bass] succeeds admirably at providing a refreshing antidote to the news media’s bleak portrayal of contemporary black Africa. While he does detail some of the appalling failures of Western aid and development programs, Mr. Bass makes a strong case for the limitless scientific possibilities of the continent, and for the adventurous scientists who frequently risk their lives for the ‘something new’ that always comes out of Africa."
The New York Times Book Review

"One of the refreshing strengths Bass brings to what I suspect was a labor of love is that his real heroes are Africans: bright, educated, dedicated and optimistic.... His optimism is based not on the proximity of solutions but on the fact that a new generation of post-colonial Africans—scientists and others—are taking the lead in grappling with the problems that control their destiny."
The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Richly informative on the African environment, health, agriculture, and social life, the book depicts these various endeavors partly through the commanding personalities of the African and Western scientists who created them."
Foreign Affairs

"Bass’s stories highlight the often disastrous effects of ignoring local knowledge and practices."

"Bass’s book is not simply science writing. Like the researchers with whom he journeys, Bass has learned the effectiveness of combined interests. The result is a tangy verbal concoction: one part science, one part travel, two parts bemused, yet impassioned observation."
The Christian Science Monitor

"Bass’s theme is the need for science to grow African roots rather than transplanting Western assumptions, a process that is full of surprises and new insights."