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J. Robert Oppenheimer is one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war, and who later found himself confronting the moral consequences of scientific progress. In this magisterial, acclaimed biography twenty-five years in the making, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin capture Oppenheimer’s life and times, from his early career to his central role in the Cold War. This is biography and history at its finest, riveting and deeply informative. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A portrait of scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, discusses his role in the twentieth-century scientific world, as well as his roles as family man and head of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies.
A portrait of scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, discusses his role in the twentieth-century scientific world, as well as his roles as family man and head of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies.
In rich detail Cassidy places this personal story of public disgrace within the larger narrative of the rise of science in America.
A Life in Twilight reveals the least-known and most enigmatic period of J. Robert Oppenheimer's life, from the public humiliation he endured after the 1954 Atomic Energy Commission's investigation into his alleged communist leanings and connections to his death in 1967. It covers Oppenheimer's continued work as a scientist and philosopher and head of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, his often controversial public appearances, as well as parts of his private life. What emerges is a portrait of a man who was toppled from the highest echelons of politics and society, had to see his honor and name blackened, but succeeded in maintaining his dignity and rebuilding a shattered life, although he never truly recovered from the McCarthy-inspired persecution he suffered. Previously unpublished FBI files round out the picture and cast a sinister cloud over Oppenheimer's final years, during which he remained under occasional surveillance. Mark Wolverton has succeeded in presenting an evenhanded and very well- researched account of a life that ended in twilight. It reads like a written version of the acclaimed film Good Night, and Good Luck, and indeed Murrow's interview with Oppenheimer is one of the central elements of the story. A Life in Twilight is an important exploration, not only of a prominent scientist and philosopher, but also of an unforgettable era in American history.
In 1922, the teenage son of a Jewish immigrant ventured from Manhattan to New Mexico for his health. It was the first of many trips to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, a western retreat where J. Robert Oppenheimer would eventually hold pathbreaking discussions with world-renowned scientists about atomic physics. Oppenheimer came to feel at home in the American West, and while extensive studies have been made of the man, this is the first book to explicitly link him with the region. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Cold War, and the Atomic West explores how the West influenced Oppenheimer as a scientist and as a person—and the role he played in influencing it. Jon Hunner’s concise account of Oppenheimer’s life and the emergence of an Atomic West distills a vast literature for students and general readers. In this brisk, engaging biography, the author recounts how Oppenheimer helped locate the atomic weapons research lab at Los Alamos, New Mexico, and helped establish leading physics departments at the University of California–Berkeley and Caltech. By taking part in moving atomic physics west of the Mississippi, Oppenheimer bolstered the establishment of research labs, uranium mines, nuclear reactors, and more, bringing talented people—and billions of dollars in federal contracts—to the region. Interwoven into this atomic tale are insights into the physicist’s troubled growing-up years, his marriage and family life, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Oppenheimer’s eventual downfall. After the first atomic bomb burst over the New Mexican desert in 1945 and as the Cold War developed, the American myth of the Wild West expanded to encompass atomic sheriffs saving the world for democracy—even as powerful opponents began questioning Oppenheimer’s place in that story. Against the backdrop of the physicist’s life twining with the region’s history, Hunner explores the promise and peril of the Atomic Age.
Explores the complex intellectual life of the innovator of the atomic bomb, providing coverage of such topics as his sympathy toward Communism, his lead over the Manhattan Project, and his Jewish faith.

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