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

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 784 pages
18 Reviews
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.
 

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User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

I have wanted to read this biography of Oppenheimer since reading reviews when it was first published a few years ago. Bird and Sherwin have written a readable, comprehensive biography of a complex ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - klburnside - LibraryThing

I thought Oppenheimer sounded like an interesting fellow, so I figured I would give this book a try. It is incredibly detailed and well researched and I can see why it won the Pulitzer Prize. I ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
3
He Received Every New Idea as Perfectly Beautiful
9
His Separate Prison
29
The Nim Nim Boys
94
In I936 My Interests Began to Change
113
lFrankI Clipped It Out and Sent It
129
IO More and More Surely
143
The Chevalier Affair
195
1 Am Sure That Is Why She Threw Things at Him
406
He Never Let Go What His Opinion Was
416
Dark Words About Oppie
431
Scientist X 451
454
The Beast in the Jungle 402
462
It Looks Pretty Bad Doesnt It?
489
3o A Manifestation of Hysteria
523
A Black Mark on the Escutcheon of Our Country
545

l6 Too Much Secrecy
225
l7 Oppenheimer Is Telling the Truth Suicide Motive Unknown
301
Those Poor Little People
313
1 Feel I Have Blood on My Hands
323
People Could Destroy New York
336
Oppie Had a Rash and ls Now Immune
351
An Intellectual Hotel
369
He Couldnt Understand Why He Did 1t
391
It Should Have Been Done the Day After Trinity
575
Theres Only One Robert
589
Notes
601
l9 Would You Like to Adopt Her?
638
Bibliography
685
Index
700
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Kai Bird is the author of The Chairman: John J. McCloy, The Making of the American Establishment and The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy, Brothers in Arms. He coedited with Lawrence Lifschultz Hiroshima’s Shadow: Writings on the Denial of History and the Smithsonian Controversy. A contributing editor of The Nation, he lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

Martin J. Sherwin is the Walter S. Dickson Professor of English and American History at Tufts University and author of A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies, which won the Stuart L. Bernath Prize, as well as the American History Book Prize. He and his wife live in Boston and Washington, D.C.

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