[Kai Bird] download American Prometheus The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer PDF
J Robert Oppenheimer is called the father of the atomic bomb which is a shorthand way of saying that we know he did something important as the scientific director of the Manhattan Project but we just aren t sure what that was What I mean is that Oppenheimer never made a great discovery or proposed a great theory He wasn t Rutherford xplaining the atom s nucleus He wasn t Bohr modeling the atom He wasn t Lawrence inventing the cyclotron to smash atoms And he wasn t Fermi developing the nuclear reactor Oppenheimer was a synthesizer an understander and an xplainer His genius and he was a genius was to know what all these other geniuses were talking about and to be able to put all these different discoveries together to create something good Or in this case the atomic bomb American Prometheus is a hefty biography of this nigmatic brilliant flawed man The dual authors Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin spent a great deal of time on this book and it shows Along with an impressive bibliography they have conducted personal interviews with key players The fact that some of these interviews date to the seventies show that the authors have been at work on this project for a long time much longer in fact than it took for Los Alamos team to churn out a nuclear weapon The fact that these guys worked so long is a pretty good indication that they are fans of J Robert This is also obvious from the title an allusion to the Titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to the mortals For this crime Prometheus was punished During the day he was chained to a rock and had his liver Garfield Swallows His Pride (Garfield, eaten by anagle During the night his liver regenerated and was Prohibido nacer eaten again the next dayOppenheimer makes for a great character and in a way the allusion to Greek mythology is apt and something Oppenheimer himself would havenjoyed He was brilliant and not just in the sciences His interests and his intellect Serafina and the Seven Stars encompassed poetry philosophy history and languages The problem however was that he knew his own intelligence but not its limits This made him overbearing brusue impatient condescending and inflexible These traits tragic flaws if you will lead to his downfall at the hands of his Red baiting fellow scientist Lewis Strauss American Prometheus is a fine book Just fine It is packed full of information It is well sourced It gives the whole sweep of Oppenheimer s life And not just the science The book gets right into the messy details the rampant adultery the alcoholic wife the political tone deafness his callous willingness to name names once he became famous and his final passive surrender to hisnemies Still I didn t love this book I didn t Nighthawk (Conard County, even like it very much My criticisms I suppose can be traced to the subtitle the triumph and the tragedy Oppenheimer s triumph was his role in birthing the atomic bomb The problem though is that I can t figure out what he did The book is full of people telling me how great he was and how the project couldn t have succeeded without him but this is a case of telling not showing In fact I felt the Los Alamos portions of the book which should have been the most important were disorganized and confusing I think the problem stems from a lack of context Now don t get me wrong I hate physics Indeed I dislikeven simple arithmetic with great passion However the science is important to this story and it s just missing from the book The authors break down Oppenheimer s field of uantum physics in one or two un illuminating sentences The achievements of the other scientists are barely mentioned if they re mentioned at all If I were to read just this book I would have no idea about the process it took to create the atomic bomb Thankfully I have read Richard Rhodes masterful The Making of the Atomic Bomb Despite the odd semi creepy title this is a remarkable book that combines wonderfully understandable science writing with an What She Saw (Conard County elouent vivid narrative Once the bomb is dropped the story moves onto the guilt of the scientists I wouldn t like this part no matter how well it was written The scientists who worked on the bomb then opposed its use have always come across as myopic babies They jumped headfirst into a program to create a super bomb and then reacted with shock shock that it might be dropped on people Hey geniuses way to think ahead Their shifting morality is a combination of hypocrisy and shame intended to hide theirarlier craven desire to see if the damn thing would work Take a stand and stick with it I don t really care for Edward Teller and his disturbing ruminations on a bomb that could destroy the whole world but at least he was intellectually consistent and consistently crazy Oppenheimer was at the vanguard of scientists who wanted to be open with the Soviet Union about
Nuclear Arms Thereby Hoping To Forestall An Arms Race Maybe arms thereby hoping to forestall an arms race Maybe was naive Maybe this might have worked In any Rivals Break (Sharpe Donovan event it s not the kind of position to have if you werever part of the Communist movement By this time though Oppenheimer s Namen-Und Sach-Register Zum Jahresbericht �ber Die Fortschritte in Der Lehre Von Den Pathogenen Mikroorganismen Umfassend Bacterien, Pilze Und Protozo�n ego had inflated to the point where he thought he was untouchable He went around preaching candor while also holding a top secret security clearance as a consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission This proved a mistakespecially while Senator Joseph McCarthy was holding office Eventually Lewis Strauss orchestrated a kangaroo court hearing in which Oppenheimer was stripped of his security clearance Hence the tragedy of the subtitleThis period of American history always gets me fiercely agitated and there are few historical figures I hate as much as Joe McCarthy It just boggles my mind McCarthy and his henchman Richard Nixon among them Soft Focus essentially managed to outlaw liberalism Anyone who supported unions or segregation orual pay for women could have their lives destroyed by the flabby red faced alcoholic senator from WisconsinThose who dare side with McCarthy have always pointed out the fact that the Communist Party had a revolutionary Alien Chastity Belt ethos The problem with this argument though is that there is a line between literally overthrowing a democraticallylected government by force of arms and overthrowing the government democratically which pretty much happened a couple weeks ago in Massachusetts McCarthy and Nixon weren t really interested in protecting America They were interested in protecting themselves and their positions in government And what better way to do this than make your ideological opponents criminals Thus Oppenheimer who at worst was a New Dealer could have his reputation damaged and his future in government destroyed The Red Scare was a farce and if there was any justice at all it was that McCarthy was ventually shunned and died a disgraced drunk at the age of 48 That rant aside the tragedy of Oppenheimer didn t seem all that terrible It felt in fact uite overblown by the authors So he lost his security clearance Big deal He knew this going into the commission and could have avoided the whole sham trial In fact Einstein advised him to do this and Oppenheimer wouldn t listen The lesson here take Einstein s advice Einstein After losing his clearance Oppenheimer still had his wealth This is a very thorough book in some respects and yet it is so narrow in scope I almost want to run
out and read another Oppenheimer biography and some histories that cover the same and read another Oppenheimer biography and some histories that cover the same period to get the personal details and background history the authors assumed you knew in THIS book AlmostSure I m familiar with the basic details of WWII the McCarthy Era and the atomic bomb but if I wasn t this book wouldn t have helped much Instead the authors follow J Robert Oppenheimer s life in detail from birth to death with a laser s focus on very political relationship and communist connection he Lawbreakers Suspense Stories ever had so much soverything lse is in soft focus The book becomes at times
A Laundry List Of laundry list of connected to their political affiliations and possible communist leanings Even Robert himself is given short shrift to the communist uestion Every possible Communist connection is xamined and re Spinal Trauma examined so often I felt like the authors had inffect become Oppenheimer s belated defense team Why did they feel Oppenheimer needed defending you may be asking Wasn t he a brilliant physicist the one who headed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb Yes he certainly was Everyone in the scientific community was concerned that Germany was developing a bomb including Oppenheimer who was Shadow (New Species, especially appalled over what was happening in fascist Germany and horrified about what was being done to the Jews He wasager to use his scientific skills in service of his country But the power of the bomb that was developed filled him with concern 細味人生100篇 especially after seeing it used against a Japan that wasssentially already defeatedOppenheimer felt that the use of such weapons should be regulated not jus. J Robert Oppenheimer is one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century a brilliant physicist who led the ffort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war and who later.
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N the making38 days to read across 3 cities23 corners folded by this girl to mark something fascinatingTo describe this book as merely well researched would be an insult It is an xhaustively thorough look at an important American figurethat I had never heard of when my dad gave this book to me as a Christmas gift several years ago I had a vague notion that J Robert Oppenheimer was in the newspaper business Oppie as I now refer to him was a brilliant physicist and character who headed the American development of the atomic bomb during WWII only to be stripped of his security clearance years later for petty political reasons When I finished this book I was all Oppie said the cleverest thing about insert topic and Oppie would have loved this documentarybookcolor shirt I swear I was that annoying person who just achieved a likely one sided friendship with someone much cooler and can t shut up about it What Chastity exactly can youxpect to learn about MY NEW BESTIE in this book 1 Speculation about whether Oppie was a closet CommunistThere are paragraphs pages and chapters playing the was he or wasn t he game What Experiential Learning exactly did he learn at that wacko school as a youngster Did he pay party dues Why didn t he report that conversationarlier Why did he meet with that person on that day The only person who really had the answer to the main uestion is Oppie and he said no Repeatedly This speculation may sound boring and it was at times but it was integral to the story as it later brought down a man who had devoted his life to doing what he thought was best for this country2 Luminaries of the dayAs brilliant as Oppie was he was also surrounded by brilliant people After nearly very description of his physicist buddies there was a note that so and so went on to receive the Nobel Prize You will also learn about key political and military figures of the day And for all these people you will get than just a rehashing of their image You ll get a uick glimpse of their personality weakness opinions antics This book breathes with characters 3 A critical ra of American historyThe authors A Final Story: Science, Myth, and Beginnings evoked not just the people but also stepped back andvoked the times starting with the rush to develop the atomic bomb before the Germans hurry hurry hurry and then the debate that followed Hiroshima was that really necessary what now build another It was a dicey time for America and the world I had learned some of this during my undergraduate but this book bought it home for me 4 Absolutely nothing about scienceIf you are curious regarding the specifics of how the bomb was built or the physics behind it you will be sorely disappointed while I was greatly pleased5 His wifeI have become increasingly interested in the stories of the women behind important men how they helped made their men great and A New Philosophy of History even how they suffered for it Forxample I remember walking through a museum about Einstein a couple years ago and thinking his wife deserved a medal bucket of tears her own museum something for the crap she put up with And Oppie s wife Kitty was similarly intriguing Here is a brief review of her count m four marriagesHusband 1 Why you should read your spouse s diaryWhen Kitty was studying aboard in Europe she impulsively married a musician only to discover when she snooped in his diary that he was a gay drug addict Strike oneHusband 2 Voluntary poverty followed by voluntary deathKitty bounced back uickly and married a handsome American activist Although both came from well to do families they chose to live in poverty to show their commitment to Communist ideals Kitty ventually got fed up with lifestyle and walked away The two were just starting to rekindle their love when he was killed fighting in the Spanish Civil War on the side of you guessed it the leftistsHusband 3 This is Robert calling Your wife is pregnant with my child Kitty s next pick was an Lexikon der Medizin-Irrtümer emotionally distant doctor It was during this marriage that Kitty met Oppie and started somextramarital hanky panky When she discovered she was pregnant with Oppie s child Husband 3 and Oppie had a very civilized phone conversation where they decided it would be best if Kitty divorced one and married the other I really wish the FBI had wire tapped that call What kind of husband can calmly discuss his wife s infidelity with her lover He must have been cold as a block of ice Husband 4 Loved by Oppie hated by FRITZI auf Sylt - ÖLMALEREI - Kunst in Fotobrillant-Druck everyonelseAfter all the duds Oppie was the one The general consensus was that Oppie s wife was a rude habitually tipsy and mediocre housewife as well as a cold mother Her one redeeming uality was her fierce loyalty to Oppie and his career Yet she seemed frustrated in his shadows having given up her burgeoning career in botany for his sake My favorite uote about Kitty was that she made small talk but she really wanted to make big talk Whew I don t know about you but Kitty wears me out And since she is not likeable Big Little Man enough to be the subject of her own biography I am glad these authors gave her such good coverage here As many anecdotes that made me sympathize with her there were just as many times when I wanted to reach back in time and shake herThat snough about Kitty It s not often that I have a picture of myself reading the book I m reviewing But today is your lucky day In a scene that is probably familiar to GoodReaders here I am reading my book off in a corner during a family get together image rror Impressive biography of J Robert Oppenheimer the nuclear physicist who went from obscurity to international fame as the director of the
Manhattan Project to ignominy and xile over his ambivalence towards nuclear weapons and leftist political views Bird and SherwinProject to ignominy and Creating Lasting Value exile over his ambivalence towards nuclear weapons and leftist political views Bird and Sherwin Oppenheimer throughout as a genius who like many great I am in the middle of moving from one country to another so I just do not have the time to write a decent review of thisxcellent marvelous book Please if you are at all interested in Understanding Markets and Strategy either history or amazing people grab this book soon On closing this book the reader truly understands the atmosphere that swallowed up Ameri American Prometheus The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer was the Pulitzer prize winning book in 2006 This was a comprehensive biography of J Robert Oppenheimer and the birth of Los Alamos and the atomic bomb devised to bring thend to World War II with the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki The irony of this book may be that Oppenheimer as a young man came to New Mexico finding not only himself but that he loved this beautiful country Many years later I think that a regret that he had was bringing the attention of the world to northern New Mexico he craved the Montana Dreams exhilaration and the invigorating calmness induced by Perro Caliente There was a rhythm now to his life intense intellectual work at times to the point of nearxhaustion followed by a month or of near Immerwelt - Der Pakt exhaustion followed by a month or of renewal on horseback in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico We learned to watch the snow on the Sangres and to look for deer in Water Canyon Phil Morrison later wrote with a lyricism that reflected themotional attachment to the land that seized many residents We found that on the mesas and the valley that there was an old and strange culture there were our neighbors
The People Of Thepeople of the and there were the caves of Otowi canyon to remind us that other men had sought water in the dry landHaving spent my arly childhood in Los Alamos I am still very conflicted about that time in our history Oppenheimer was not only the choice of General Groves but also the one who was able to assemble a group of physicists and scientists to come to a remote part of the United States and pioneer this daunting project Much of the genius of Oppenheimer was his uncanny ability to ferret out the best talent and to relentlessly pursue that talent and to motivate and inspire them However the underlying and dark theme throughout this book was the hysteria that was rampant in the 1950 s about communismThis is also a tale of a very complex man not only a brilliant scientist and leader and a true twentieth century Renaissance Man but one who was devastated with the human toll that was wrought with the unleashing of the science that he had shepherded This was a man who was well versed in Shakespeare and The Bhagavad Gita who spent many years urging nuclear arms control Today that pride must be tempered with a profound concern If atomic bombs are to be added as
#New Weapons To The #weapons to the of a warring world or to the arsenals of nations preparing for war then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima J Robert Oppenheimer on October 16 1946 We may be likened to two scorpions in a bottle ach capable of killing the other but only at the risk of his own life J Robert Oppenheimer 1953. Er’s life and times from his Picture Theory 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 Paperbackdition. T by the US and that secrecy would lead to an arms race with the Soviet Union and he was right But his advocacy for free sharing of information and an international committee to guide the use of atomic power was not what the US government wanted to hear in the 50s His opposition to the development of the H bomb opened him up to suspicion and he was investigated by the FBI including the illegal wiretapping of his phonesOppenheimer had been working as a professor at Berkeley before the war and as a liberal thinker he had had friends and family who were Communist back when that meant opposition to the fascist regime in Spain and improving social conditions at home He had donated money to various causes through the US Communist party which wasn t unusual for the time His own brother and his wife had been members of the Communist party at one time although Robert himself never had been All of these connections were used against him by his opponents many years later in hearings in the 50sEverything in the book leads up to Oppenheimer s hearings before the Personnel Security Board team put together by General Lewis Strauss who was determined to both remove Oppenheimer from the Atomic Energy Commission and remove his security clearance Strauss had clashed with Oppenheimer over the development of the H bomb and had developed a personal antipathy to the scientist With the tacit consent of President Eisenhower Strauss set up a star chamber hearing to railroad Oppenheimer out using unfair tactics such as denying access to Ancestral Voices evidence and not releasing the list of witnesses to Oppenheimer s lawyers ahead of time Oppenheimer became seen as a Galileo type martyr to the scientific community and though he wasventually rehabilitated and honored by President Johnson Oppenheimer never truly recovered from the hearingsAll of this part of Oppenheimer s life we get in And Bid Him Sing exhaustive detail What you won t learn so much about is Oppenheimer s personal life which is present in the book but notxamined Oppenheimer had a magnetic personality and many relationships with women that we hear just a little about He had affairs Aristotle Detective (Aristotle even after his marriage to Kitty whose previous husband was a Communist who had died fighting in the Spanish Civil War I wanted to know about his relationship with Kitty a tempestuous woman with a big drinking problem We hear that the Oppenheimers gave parties where they lavished their guests with drinks but then skimped on the food That s fascinating I wanted to know about what was going on there and hear what people thought about it I wanted to know about his children and how they felt being raised in such a family We get tantalizing bits and pieces about how Robert tried to give his daughter away to another family at Los Alamos and never bonded with his son but then we are torn away to hear again about Communist stuff Can you hear my frustration Sure I figure there is WAY documentation out there on the Communist issue thanks to the FBI than to Oppenheimer s personal life and that s what the authors focused on They do a good job of presenting this information chronologically and clearly and if that s what you re interested in you won t be disappointed You will getvery detail you could Bones, Clones, and Biomes ever hope for But if you want to know Oppenheimer the man you will only get glimpses here Personally all that I new about J Robert Oppenheimer was his time during Project Manhattan and a few details about his show trial in 1954 This book managed to bring a lot context to thesevents and show me as close it is possible the real Oppenheimer Wh I thought this was fascinating J Robert Oppenheimer had a uniue upbringing I found very interesting He grew up in a nonobservant Jewish family and completed grade school in a private institution called The Ethical Cultural Society This was a Judaic reformist school where students were taught Ethical Imagination to see things not as they are but as they might be pg 19Oppenheimer described his childhood My life as a child did not prepare me for the fact that the world is full of cruel and bitter things pg 21 He was described as odd neurotic and depressed by his university classmates He ventually had a breakdown where he attacked a classmate pg 47 His poor social interactions and self alienating behaviors led him tell a friend I need physics than friends pg 91He was brilliant xtremely intelligence and internalized the knowledge he acuired He ventually read the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads in the original Sanskrit pgs 99 102 His deep reflection and internalizing of the Gita would have a heavy impact during his work on the atomic bomb He liked things that were difficult And since almost verything was asy for him the things that would attract
His Attention Were Essentially Theattention were ssentially the He had a taste for the mystical and the cryptic pg 99Oppenheimer s credentials and reputation proceeded himself and landed him the job at the Los Alamos Research Laboratory in New Mexico In May 1942 he was appointed director of the fast neutron research with the curious title Coordinator of Rapid Rapture Almost immediately he began to organize a highly secret summer seminar of top theoretical physicists whose job it was to outline a bare bones design of an atomic bomb pg 180At the successful detonation of the atomic bomb at the Trinity Site he later told an interviewer I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes his multi armed form and says Now I am become death the destroyer of worlds pg 309Eventually his past actions and who he socialized with put him in the cross hairs of the Department of Justice and the FBI His loyalty was uestioned after he had accusations of being a Communist sympathizer being unpatriotic and was deemed a risk to national security Towards the Canadian Art, Volume 1 (A-F) end of his life he gave lectures at universities and dwelt on broader themes of culture and science He became a humanist pondering man s survival in an age of weapons of mass destruction pg 574I reallynjoyed this one It was highly detailed and contained a lot of thoroughly researched information I would recommend it Thanks The trouble with Oppenheimer is that he loves a woman who doesn t love him the United States government Albert Einstein uoted in American PrometheusThere is way too Counter-Amores exploding in my head after reading this tonight to write a full andven meaningful review I ve always been fascinated with the Manhattan Project and last year read Rhode s amazing book The Making of the Atomic Bomb I ve also read several of Richard Feynman s memoirs that detail aspects of his work and stories but this has been the fullest investigation I ve read into Oppenheimer s life Things I ll probably write a bit about tomorrow1 Oppenheimer and Modern Physicists as founding father s of the modern age2 The show trials of the AEC3 Disappointment in Bernard Baruch Teller American Institutions and Dancing at Armageddon even Oppenheimer3 Current atmosphere of suspicion of Science4 Current atmosphere ofxtreme vetting and loyalty tests5 Other Myths for Oppenheimer Pandora s Box or Flying too close to the Sun It was an interesting read and an interesting life though during the course of it I realised that Oppenheimer didn t appeal to me at all as a personThe background is interesting particularly the role of Communism in the USA during the Popular Front period of opposition to Fascism before WWII and how that then panned out in the 1950s ie what had been permissible
CAME TO BE VIEWED AS CRIMINAL EVEN TREACHEROUS PURELYto be viewed as criminal Double Jeopardy even treacherous Purely a result of this Oppenheimer s younger brothernded up Composition and Literature effectively in a form of internalxile in the USA unable to work at all in physicsOppenheimer Cezanne and Provence emerges as a competitive ambitious figure who was perfectly willing to overlook any moral scruples to have the atomic bomb constructed and then tested Particularly interesting was how the team involved in developing the Atom bomb campaigned to have two Japanese target towns reserved for them to test the bomb out on there s a discussion of the costffectiveness of the development of the atomic bomb over investment in conventional weaponry in The Shock of the Old that is worth looking at in this context view spoiler broadly arguing that the decision to develop an atomic weapon lengthened the duration of the war by diverting resources away from producing conventional weapons hide spoiler Let s do the numbers599 pages of text256 books read for research44 articles and dissertations consulted41 manuscript collections pillaged10 government document collections accessed 1 Pulitzer Prize6 newspapersmagazines named it best book of the year19 uality blurbs41 listed abbreviations20 page long index83 pages of notes 112 people interviewed several than once2 authors25 years Found himself confronting the moral conseuences of scientific progress In this magisterial acclaimed biography twenty five years in the making Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin capture Oppenheim.