American Prometheus : the triumph and tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer / by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.

By: Bird, KaiContributor(s): Sherwin, Martin JMaterial type: TextTextPublisher: New York : A.A. Knopf, 2005Edition: 1st edDescription: xiii, 721 p. : ill. ; 25 cmISBN: 0375412026 :; 9780375412028Other title: Triumph and tragedy of J. Robert OppenheimerSubject(s): Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967 | Physicists -- United States -- Biography | Atomic bomb -- United States -- History | Science -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century | United States -- History -- 20th centuryDDC classification: 530/.092 | B LOC classification: QC16.O62 | B57 2005Other classification: 33.01 | 15.85
Contents:
I: "He received every new idea as perfectly beautiful" -- "His separate prison" -- "I am having a pretty bad time" -- "I find the work hard, thank God, & almost pleasant" -- "I am Oppenheimer" -- "Oppie" -- "The nim nim boys" -- II: "In 1936 my interests began to change" -- "[Frank] clipped it out and sent it in" -- "More and more surely" -- "I'm going to marry a friend of yours, Steve" -- "We were pulling the new deal to the left" -- "The coordinator of rapid rupture" -- "The Chevalier affair" -- III: "He'd become very patriotic" -- "Too much secrecy" -- "Oppenheimer is telling the truth ..." -- "Suicide, motive unknown" -- "Would you like to adopt her? '' -- "Bohr was God, and Oppie was his prophet" -- "The impact of the gadget on civilization" -- "Now we're all sons-of-bitches" -- IV: "Those poor little people" -- "I feel I have blood on my hands" -- "People could destroy New York" -- "Oppie had a rash and is now immune" -- "An intellectual hotel" -- "He couldn't understand why he did it" -- "I am sure that is why she threw things at him" -- "He never let on what his opinion was" -- "Dark words about Oppie" -- "Scientist X" -- "The beast in the jungle" -- V: "It looks pretty bad, doesn't it?" -- "I fear that this whole thing is a piece of idiocy" -- "A manifestation of hysteria" -- "A black mark on the Escutcheon of our country" -- "I can still feel the warm blood on my hands" -- "It was really like a never-never-land" -- "It should have been done the day after trinity" -- Epilogue: "There's only one Robert."
Summary: The first full-scale biography of the "father of the atomic bomb," the brilliant, charismatic physicist who led the effort to capture the fire of the sun for his country in time of war. After Hiroshima, he became the most famous scientist of his generation--an icon of modern man confronting the consequences of scientific progress. He created a radical proposal to place international controls over atomic materials, opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb and criticized the Air Force's plans to fight a nuclear war. In the hysteria of the early 1950s, his ideas were anathema to powerful advocates of a massive nuclear buildup, and people such as Edward Teller and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover worked behind the scenes to obtain a finding that he could not be trusted with America's nuclear secrets. This book is both biography and history, significant to our understanding of our recent past--and of our choices for the future.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Fiction notes: Click to open in new window Awards: Click to open in new window
Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
QC16 .O62 B57 2005 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001764497
Browsing University of Texas At Tyler shelves, Shelving location: Stacks - 3rd Floor Close shelf browser
QC16.N7 B55 Newton and Russia; QC16.N7 D47 Newton: the man, QC16.N7 M3 A portrait of Isaac Newton / QC16 .O62 B57 2005 American Prometheus : QC16.O62 C5 Oppenheimer : QC16.O62 G66 1981 J. Robert Oppenheimer : QC16.O62 M3 The Oppenheimer hearing.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [685]-699) and index.

I: "He received every new idea as perfectly beautiful" -- "His separate prison" -- "I am having a pretty bad time" -- "I find the work hard, thank God, & almost pleasant" -- "I am Oppenheimer" -- "Oppie" -- "The nim nim boys" -- II: "In 1936 my interests began to change" -- "[Frank] clipped it out and sent it in" -- "More and more surely" -- "I'm going to marry a friend of yours, Steve" -- "We were pulling the new deal to the left" -- "The coordinator of rapid rupture" -- "The Chevalier affair" -- III: "He'd become very patriotic" -- "Too much secrecy" -- "Oppenheimer is telling the truth ..." -- "Suicide, motive unknown" -- "Would you like to adopt her? '' -- "Bohr was God, and Oppie was his prophet" -- "The impact of the gadget on civilization" -- "Now we're all sons-of-bitches" -- IV: "Those poor little people" -- "I feel I have blood on my hands" -- "People could destroy New York" -- "Oppie had a rash and is now immune" -- "An intellectual hotel" -- "He couldn't understand why he did it" -- "I am sure that is why she threw things at him" -- "He never let on what his opinion was" -- "Dark words about Oppie" -- "Scientist X" -- "The beast in the jungle" -- V: "It looks pretty bad, doesn't it?" -- "I fear that this whole thing is a piece of idiocy" -- "A manifestation of hysteria" -- "A black mark on the Escutcheon of our country" -- "I can still feel the warm blood on my hands" -- "It was really like a never-never-land" -- "It should have been done the day after trinity" -- Epilogue: "There's only one Robert."

The first full-scale biography of the "father of the atomic bomb," the brilliant, charismatic physicist who led the effort to capture the fire of the sun for his country in time of war. After Hiroshima, he became the most famous scientist of his generation--an icon of modern man confronting the consequences of scientific progress. He created a radical proposal to place international controls over atomic materials, opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb and criticized the Air Force's plans to fight a nuclear war. In the hysteria of the early 1950s, his ideas were anathema to powerful advocates of a massive nuclear buildup, and people such as Edward Teller and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover worked behind the scenes to obtain a finding that he could not be trusted with America's nuclear secrets. This book is both biography and history, significant to our understanding of our recent past--and of our choices for the future.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in the life, career, achievements, and trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the "father" of the atomic bomb. In 2004, there were two new biographies by significant science writers-Jeremy Bernstein's Oppenheimer: Portrait of an Enigma and David C. Cassidy's J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century. In addition to this current title, another is scheduled for publication in 2005, Abraham Pais and Robert Crease's Shatterer of Worlds: A Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer. This collaboration between writer Bird and English professor Sherwin is an expansive but fast-paced and engrossing work that draws its strength from the insights provided into Oppenheimer's thoughts and motives and the many anecdotes. The book's five parts cover his youth and education, his early career and dalliance with communism, the Manhattan Project, his return to academe and growing political influence, and, finally, his dealings with the FBI and eventual retreat from public life. The emphasis throughout is on Oppenheimer's personality and how he navigated the sociopolitical minefields of the era, with relatively less discussion of his scientific work. For a readable and well-researched biography of the man, this suffices quite well. However, with so many other biographies available, not to mention histories of the Manhattan Project, it provides little new information here. For general readers in larger public and academic libraries.-Gregg Sapp, Science Lib., SUNY at Albany (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Oppenheimer became one of the world's best-known physicists in 1945 when the public learned that he had successfully led the effort to design and construct the first nuclear fission bombs. He and other researchers worked hard after WW II trying to convince the government to place nuclear materials under international control. Oppenheimer lobbied against a program to produce a nuclear fusion bomb on the grounds that it would be massively destructive. In order to squelch his influence, some of his opponents instigated a hearing before a board of the Atomic Energy Commission; as a result, Oppenheimer lost his security clearance in 1954. He spent the rest of his career at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton, where he had been director since 1947. Writer Bird and Sherwin (English; American history, Tufts Univ.) offer this comprehensive biography based on analysis of masses of documentation and many interviews. Their book stimulates thinking about key issues--international control of nuclear materials, openness in science and politics, freedom of debate, and discussion of ideas--that are as important today as they were then. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All levels. M. Dickinson Maine Maritime Academy

There are no comments on this title.

to post a comment.