American Prometheus: The Triumph And Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

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American Prometheus: The Triumph And Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Format:  Paperback,

721 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Apr 2006

ISBN-13: 9780375726262

ISBN-10: 0375726268

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
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.

Specifications

Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Apr 2006
ISBN-13: 9780375726262
ISBN-10: 0375726268
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 721
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.75
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.25 x 7.75 x 1.5
Walmart No.: 375726268

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2005-04-15)

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.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Ambassador Book Awards, 2006 (United States)
  • National Book Critics Circle Awards, 2006 (United States)
  • J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, 2006 (United States)
  • New York Times Notable Books of the Year, 2005 (United States)
  • Pulitzer Prize, 2006 (United States)

Book description

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.

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