Search Results for "american-prometheus-the-triumph-and-tragedy-of-j-robert-oppenheimer"

American Prometheus

American Prometheus

The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

  • Author: Kai Bird,Martin J. Sherwin
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN: 0307424731
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 784
  • View: 2592
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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.

Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer

The Tragic Intellect

  • Author: Charles Thorpe
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • ISBN: 9780226798486
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 384
  • View: 2635
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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. “This is an outstandingly well-researched book, a pleasure to read and distinguished by the high quality of its observations and judgments. It will be of special interest to scholars of modern history, but non-specialist readers will enjoy the clarity that Thorpe brings to common misunderstandings about his subject.”—Graham Farmelo, Times Higher Education Supplement “A fascinating new perspective. . . . Thorpe’s book provides the best perspective yet for understanding Oppenheimer’s Los Alamos years, which were critical, after all, not only to his life but, for better or worse, the history of mankind.”—Catherine Westfall, Nature

Morality's Muddy Waters

Morality's Muddy Waters

Ethical Quandaries in Modern America

  • Author: George Cotkin
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
  • ISBN: 9780812204834
  • Category: History
  • Page: 272
  • View: 2386
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In the face of an uncertain and dangerous world, Americans yearn for a firm moral compass, a clear set of ethical guidelines. But as history shows, by reducing complex situations to simple cases of right or wrong we often go astray. In Morality's Muddy Waters, historian George Cotkin offers a clarion call on behalf of moral complexity. Revisiting several defining moments in the twentieth century—the American bombing of civilians during World War II, the My Lai massacre, racism in the South, capital punishment, the invasion of Iraq—Cotkin chronicles how historical figures have grappled with the problem of evil and moral responsibility—sometimes successfully, oftentimes not. In the process, he offers a wide-ranging tour of modern American history. Taken together, Cotkin maintains, these episodes reveal that the central concepts of morality—evil, empathy, and virtue—are both necessary and troubling. Without empathy, for example, we fail to inhabit the world of others; with it, we sometimes elevate individual suffering over political complexities. For Cotkin, close historical analysis may help reenergize these concepts for ethical thinking and acting. Morality's Muddy Waters argues for a moral turn in the way we study and think about history, maintaining that even when answers to ethical dilemmas prove elusive, the act of grappling with them is invaluable.

Encyclopedia of the Cold War

Encyclopedia of the Cold War

  • Author: Ruud van Dijk,William Glenn Gray,Svetlana Savranskaya,Jeremi Suri,Qiang Zhai
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • ISBN: 1135923108
  • Category: Reference
  • Page: 1146
  • View: 1918
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Between 1945 and 1991, tension between the USA, its allies, and a group of nations led by the USSR, dominated world politics. This period was called the Cold War – a conflict that stopped short to a full-blown war. Benefiting from the recent research of newly open archives, the Encyclopedia of the Cold War discusses how this state of perpetual tensions arose, developed, and was resolved. This work examines the military, economic, diplomatic, and political evolution of the conflict as well as its impact on the different regions and cultures of the world. Using a unique geopolitical approach that will present Russian perspectives and others, the work covers all aspects of the Cold War, from communism to nuclear escalation and from UFOs to red diaper babies, highlighting its vast-ranging and lasting impact on international relations as well as on daily life. Although the work will focus on the 1945–1991 period, it will explore the roots of the conflict, starting with the formation of the Soviet state, and its legacy to the present day.

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World

  • Author: Kati Marton
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • ISBN: 1416542450
  • Category: History
  • Page: 384
  • View: 1770
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Extravagantly praised by critics and readers, this stunning story by bestselling author Kati Marton tells of the breathtaking journey of nine extraordinary men from Budapest to the New World, what they experienced along their dangerous route, and how they changed America and the world. This is the unknown chapter of World War II: the tale of nine men who grew up in Budapest's brief Golden Age, then, driven from Hungary by anti-Semitism, fled to the West, especially to the United States, and changed the world. These nine men, each celebrated for individual achievements, were part of a unique group who grew up in a time and place that will never come again. Four helped usher in the nuclear age and the computer, two were major movie myth-makers, two were immortal photographers, and one was a seminal writer. The Great Escape is a groundbreaking, poignant American story and an important untold chapter of the tumultuous last century.

The First War of Physics: The Secret History of the Atom Bomb, 1939-1949

The First War of Physics: The Secret History of the Atom Bomb, 1939-1949

  • Author: Jim Baggott
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books
  • ISBN: 1605987697
  • Category: History
  • Page: 584
  • View: 7085
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An epic story of science and technology at the very limits of human understanding: the monumental race to build the first atomic weapons. Rich in personality, action, confrontation, and deception, The First War of Physics is the first fully realized popular account of the race to build humankind's most destructive weapon. The book draws on declassified material, such as MI6's Farm Hall transcripts, coded soviet messages cracked by American cryptographers in the Venona project, and interpretations by Russian scholars of documents from the soviet archives. Jim Baggott weaves these threads into a dramatic narrative that spans ten historic years, from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939 to the aftermath of 'Joe-1,’ August 1949's first Soviet atomic bomb test. Why did physicists persist in developing the atomic bomb, despite the devastation that it could bring? Why, despite having a clear head start, did Hitler's physicists fail? Could the soviets have developed the bomb without spies like Klaus Fuchs or Donald Maclean? Did the allies really plot to assassinate a key member of the German bomb program? Did the physicists knowingly inspire the arms race? The First War of Physics is a grand and frightening story of scientific ambition, intrigue, and genius: a tale barely believable as fiction, which just happens to be historical fact.

Toxic Mix?

Toxic Mix?

A Handbook of Science and Politics

  • Author: Herbert N. Foerstel
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO
  • ISBN: 0313362343
  • Category: History
  • Page: 240
  • View: 2542
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This book presents a comprehensive analysis of the contentious relationship between the White House and the scientific community from the FDR administration to the Obama administration. * Includes interviews with scientists and science experts * Presents photographs of scientists, politicians, and scientific accomplishments * Provides a bibliography of print and online resources for further reading * Outlines an annotated list of private organizations whose work relates to science and politics

Priests of Our Democracy

Priests of Our Democracy

The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge

  • Author: Marjorie Heins
  • Publisher: NYU Press
  • ISBN: 0814770266
  • Category: Law
  • Page: 384
  • View: 1579
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Priests of Our Democracy tells of the teachers and professors who battled the anti-communist witch hunt of the 1950s. It traces the political fortunes of academic freedom beginning in the late 19th century, both on campus and in the courts. Combining political and legal history with wrenching personal stories, the book details how the anti-communist excesses of the 1950s inspired the Supreme Court to recognize the vital role of teachers and professors in American democracy. The crushing of dissent in the 1950s impoverished political discourse in ways that are still being felt, and First Amendment academic freedom, a product of that period, is in peril today. In compelling terms, this book shows why the issue should matter to everyone.

From Roosevelt to Truman

From Roosevelt to Truman

Potsdam, Hiroshima, and the Cold War

  • Author: Wilson D. Miscamble
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 0521862442
  • Category: History
  • Page: 393
  • View: 5597
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From Roosevelt to Truman initially investigates Truman's foreign policy background and then examines the legacy that FDR bequeathed to him.

Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States

Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States

  • Author: Alexis Dudden
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • ISBN: 023151204X
  • Category: History
  • Page: 184
  • View: 1069
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Whether it's the Vatican addressing its role in the Second World War or the United States atoning for its treatment of native Hawai'ian islanders, apologizing for history has become a standard feature of the international political scene. As Alexis Dudden makes clear, interrogating this process is crucial to understanding the value of the political apology to the state. When governments apologize for past crimes, they take away the substance of apology that victims originally wanted for themselves. They rob victims of the dignity they seek while affording the state a new means with which to legitimize itself. Examining the interplay between political apology and apologetic history, Dudden focuses on the problematic relationship binding Japanese imperialism, South Korean state building, and American power in Asia. She examines this history through diplomatic, cultural, and social considerations in the postwar era and argues that the process of apology has created a knot from which none of these countries can escape without undoing decades of mythmaking.