J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century

J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century

Book - 2005
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David Cassidy has done it again. Employing the insight and skill that made his Heisenberg biography so widely read and honored, Cassidy s new book breaks new ground, by explaining Oppenheimer s rise and fall as an important part of the social, cultural, and political turmoil of America s twentieth-century.--Gerald Holton, Mallinckrodt Research Professor of Physics and Research Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University Cassidy presents a comprehensive and engaging account of the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a pivotal figure in twentieth-century physics. An excellent work of biography, scientific narrative, and historical perspective. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the deep relationships between science, politics, and culture in the United States. --Fred Adams, University of Michigan, author of Our Living Multiverse and The Five Ages of the UniverseA most impressive achievement. Cassidy presents an informative, thoughtful, and very readable biography of this important, complex individual. Oppenheimer s actions by placing his life and work in the context of the scientific militarism that was to provide the United States with some of the means to guarantee its security--a militarism that Oppenheimer helped shape and that eventually crushed him. This book is an important work that sets new standards for scientific biography.--Silvan S. Schweber, Professor of Physics and Koret Professor of the History of Ideas, Emeritus, Brandeis University, and Senior Research Associate, History of Recent Science and Technology, Dibner Institute, MITA must read for anyone interested in the development of the modern era of big science. Cassidy skillfully brings to us a deep understanding of the character of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the leader of the Manhattan Project and one of the most complex and seemingly contradictory individuals of the twentieth-century.--Gregory Tarle, Professor of Physics, University of MichiganJ. atomic bomb and ended World War II, forged the alliance between science and government that made the American Century possible. David C. Cassidy s much anticipated, richly detailed, magisterial biography is not merely the life story of a brilliant physicist, it tells the hidden story of the political and social forces shaping the world in our time: the rise of American science.In 1941, before Germany failed to build an atomic weapon, and the United States succeeded, Life published Henry R. Luce s essay The American Century. It proclaimed that America was not at war simply to defeat the Axis powers. The United States must exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purpose as we see fit and by such means as we see fit. Cassidy reveals such confidence, and the success of the Manhattan Project itself, were essentially by products of the rise of American science driven by burgeoning industrial prosperity and a kind of national devotion to the pursuit of knowledge. colleagues to attack and ultimately solve the hardest scientific problems of the age, he also takes the reader to the 1954 Atomic Energy Commission Security review that disgraced Oppenheimer, stripped him of his security clearance for alleged red ties, and captured headlines across the nation. Documents that have only recently come to light regarding those ties are thoroughly and conclusively examined.Oppenheimer, the eldest son of an aristocratic Jewish family living on the Upper West Side of New York City, attended the secular, progressive, and elite Ethical Culture School. Cassidy, building his narrative on previously untapped primary documents, shows the importance and character of Oppenheimer s early education. The liberal values he absorbed there ran counter to the culture he found at Harvard, whose president sought to foster a future managerial elite, the rulers of the new American society. These formative contrasts in values explain Oppenheimer s many seeming contradictions. Why did the scientist who
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Pi Press, c2005.
ISBN: 9780131479968
0131479962
Branch Call Number: 921 O625ca
Characteristics: xviii, 462 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.

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