Although this book is largely autobiographical, the narrative goes through several excursions from a deeply personal document, in which the author bares his soul, to an impersonal textbook. But most of the time the author is there—and should be, for he is a remarkable individual. The scientific discoveries of Hans Selye have had a major impact on endocrinology. He is best known for his concept of the etiology of disease. This concept has been important because it was heuristic and did indeed have elements of truth, although the search for causes of the great diseases has swept on to other levels and areas of inquiry.
Dr. Selye writes on such subjects as why one should do research, who should do research, where and when it should be done, how to work, how to think, and how to read, write, and speak. He mentions repeatedly his admiration for Walter B. Cannon,