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J. Robert Oppenheimer: And the American Century Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 20, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
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From Scientific American
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Top Customer Reviews
Cassidy takes Oppenehimer to task on a number of points: That he was a snob, that he was fickle, that he was aloof, that he was cowardly, and that he failed to realize his potential as a physicist, to name a few. In fact, Oppenheimer only succeeds after he has been skewered at the hands of the Gray committee. He then enters- and only just- Cassidy's hagiography. Moreover, Cassidy holds Oppenheimer to modern academic standards which include a healthy disdain for government in all its manifold guises. For example, while it may be fair to criticize Oppenheimer for not having been more vociferously opposed to the H-bomb, can Cassidy really fault him for having run the Mnahattan project at a time when Hitlerism threatened to engulf the world? Is it fair to assume that the war against Japan could have been won without the A bombs and still have avoided staggering losses?
Cassidy also minimizes the fear generated by Stalin's usurpation of all eastern European governments save Yugoslavia. He has ostensibly forgotten that Stalin was a bona fide madman who had eliminated at least 20 million of his own people.Read more ›
This biography is a detailed and beautifully written work. Cassidy expands beyond the traditional scope of a biography and expertly explores the surrounding environment that shaped Oppenheimer's life. He draws upon previously untapped primary documents, and shows the importance and character of Oppenheimer's early education on the rest of his life. Cassidy examines the conflicts between Oppenheimer's liberal education from the Ethical Culture School and the culture that he found at Harvard. Oppenheimer's time in Europe is also recounted.
The book does not become overly focused on the Manhattan Project, but covers the time on "The Hill" in enough detail to keep the story in context. He instead offers insights to the periods before the war, when Oppenheimer taught at Berkeley and Cal Tech. Oppenheimer's genius and ability to inspire his students is shown, allowing us to gain insight into the man before the events that would be the foundation of his legacy.
The 1954 Atomic Energy Commission security review that disgraced Oppenheimer, and stripped him of his security clearance for alleged "red ties," are explored with the same thoughtful insight. Recent documents and information regarding those events are thoroughly and conclusively discussed.
Oppenheimer: and the American Century is a welcome addition to the history of science. (by atomicarchive.com)
Growing up in New York, Robert attended the Ethical Culture School, a school whose strikingly moral looking philosophy believed in the inherent importance of ethics and the noble constraints of morality aimed at the betterment of mankind, independent of creed and religion. However, this institution was torn between the dictums of morality and the callings of practicality when war broke out in Europe.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I received my text on time per the vendors promise. This an awesome science history book.Published 9 months ago by Aubury Webb, Sr.
Kinda obsessed right now with the Manhatten project and this book is fascinating!Published 19 months ago by Alisha Kelly
I had never read a biography of Oppenheimer, and selected this one. The author's main purpose with this book is to give you an overall history of physics in the 20th century using... Read morePublished on September 30, 2013 by Stanley R. Schneider
Poor Oppenheimer gets lost in this clumsy political screed. While all good biographies are rich in background, this one often strays far beyond any meaningful relevance to its... Read morePublished on November 21, 2009 by JJC
Oppenheimer was born to a wealthy family in NYC. The family owned a fabulous estate and yacht on Long Island. Read morePublished on February 6, 2005 by G. Reid
I was disappointed to find nothing in this work I hadn't already read in several other Oppenheimer biographies. Dr. Read morePublished on October 5, 2004 by Woodworker