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Henry Harris, one of the world's leading cell biologists, here provides a strikingly original account of how scientists came to understand that the bodies of all living things are composed of microscopic units that we now call cells. Harris turns to the primary literature - to reconstruct the events that enabled researchers to comprehend the nature and purpose of cells. Translating many of these documents into English for the first time, Harris uncovers an authentic version of events quite different from that described in conventional science textbooks.