Thorpe, Charles, 1973-

Oppenheimer : the tragic intellect / Charles Thorpe. - Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2006. - xx, 413 p., [12] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [371]-396) and index.

Introduction : charisma, self, and sociological biography -- Struggling for self -- Confronting the world -- King of the hill -- Against time -- Power and vocation -- "I was an idiot" -- The last intellectual?

At a time when the Manhattan Project was synonymous with large-scale science, physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-67) represented the new sociocultural power of the American intellectual. Catapulted to fame as director of the Los Alamos atomic weapons laboratory, Oppenheimer occupied a key position in the compact between science and the state that developed out of World War II. By tracing the making - and unmaking - of Oppenheimer's wartime and postwar scientific identity, Charles Thorpe illustrates the struggles over the role of the scientist in relation to nuclear weapons, the state, and culture. A stylish intellectual biography, Oppenheimer maps out changes in the roles of scientists and intellectuals in twentieth-century America, ultimately revealing transformations in Oppenheimer's persona that coincided with changing attitudes toward science in society.

0226798453 (acid-free paper) 9780226798455 (acid-free paper) 9780226798462 (pbk.) 0226798461 (pbk.)

2006015223

GBA671749 bnb

013536657 Uk


Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967.


Physicists--United States--Biography.
Scientists--Intellectual life--20th century.
Science--Moral and ethical aspects.
Science and state--United States.
Atomic bomb--History.--United States

QC16.O62 / T56 2006

530.092 B