In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: The Security Clearance Hearing

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Cornell University Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 409 pages
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At the end of World War II, J. Robert Oppenheimer was one of America's preeminent physicists. For his work as director of the Manhattan Project, he was awarded the Medal for Merit, the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow on a civilian. Yet, in 1953, Oppenheimer was denied security clearance amidst allegations that he was "more probably than not" an "agent of the Soviet Union." Determined to clear his name, he insisted on a hearing before the Atomic Energy Commission's Personnel Security Board.In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer contains an edited and annotated transcript of the 1954 hearing, as well as the various reports resulting from it. Drawing on recently declassified FBI files, Richard Polenberg's introductory and concluding essays situate the hearing in the Cold War period, and his thoughtful analysis helps explain why the hearing was held, why it turned out as it did, and what that result meant, both for Oppenheimer and for the United States.Among the forty witnesses who testified were many who had played vitally important roles in the making of U.S. nuclear policy: Enrico Fermi, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, Vannevar Bush, George F. Kennan, and Oppenheimer himself. The hearing provides valuable insights into the development of the atomic bomb and the postwar debate among scientists over the hydrogen bomb, the conflict between the foreign policy and military establishments over national defense, and the controversy over the proper standards to apply in assessing an individual's loyalty. It reveals as well the fears and anxieties that plagued America during the Cold War era.
 

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Contents

Monday April 12
3
Tuesday April 13
35
Wednesday April 14
49
Then I invented a cockandbull story
61
You spent the night with her didnt you?
72
Friday April 16
94
The program in 1951 was technically
108
Monday April 19
120
I kept turning over in my mind what
237
Wednesday April 28
244
Thursday April 29
265
Friday April 30
283
Monday May 3
309
Tuesday May 4
327
Wednesday May 5
333
The Personnel Security Board Reports May 27
355

Tuesday April 20
139
Wednesday April 21
166
Thursday April 22
179
Friday April 23
194
Monday April 26
207
I am afraid that wars are evil But
221
Tuesday April 27
228
Lloyd K Garrisons Reply to Kenneth D Nichols June 1
366
Publishing the Transcript June 1315
376
possible conclusion available to a reasonable and prudent
385
An Abuse of the Power of the State
395
Index
401
Copyright

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