Author: Jennet Conant
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2007-11-01
From the bestselling author of Tuxedo Park, the fascinating story of the 3,000 people who lived together in near confinement for more than two intense and conflicted years under J. Robert Oppenheimer and the world's best scientists to produce the Atomic Bomb and win World War II. They were told as little as possible. Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe--the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end. Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer's by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author's grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer's past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced. In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.
Explores events leading up to the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, key players involved, their lives during the project, the development and use of the atomic bomb, its aftermath, and its effects on society.
Author: Jim Baggott
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Release Date: 2011-08-15
An epic story of science and technology at the very limits of human understanding: the monumental race to build the first atomic weapons. Rich in personality, action, confrontation, and deception, The First War of Physics is the first fully realized popular account of the race to build humankind's most destructive weapon. The book draws on declassified material, such as MI6's Farm Hall transcripts, coded soviet messages cracked by American cryptographers in the Venona project, and interpretations by Russian scholars of documents from the soviet archives. Jim Baggott weaves these threads into a dramatic narrative that spans ten historic years, from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939 to the aftermath of 'Joe-1,’ August 1949's first Soviet atomic bomb test. Why did physicists persist in developing the atomic bomb, despite the devastation that it could bring? Why, despite having a clear head start, did Hitler's physicists fail? Could the soviets have developed the bomb without spies like Klaus Fuchs or Donald Maclean? Did the allies really plot to assassinate a key member of the German bomb program? Did the physicists knowingly inspire the arms race? The First War of Physics is a grand and frightening story of scientific ambition, intrigue, and genius: a tale barely believable as fiction, which just happens to be historical fact.
Author: Jennet Conant
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2008-09-09
When Roald Dahl, a dashing young wounded RAF pilot, took up his post at the British Embassy in Washington in 1942, his assignment was to use his good looks, wit, and considerable charm to gain access to the most powerful figures in American political life. A patriot eager to do his part to save his country from a Nazi invasion, he invaded the upper reaches of the U.S. government and Georgetown society, winning over First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband, Franklin; befriending wartime leaders from Henry Wallace to Henry Morgenthau; and seducing the glamorous freshman congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce. Dahl would soon be caught up in a complex web of deception masterminded by William Stephenson, aka Intrepid, Churchill's legendary spy chief, who, with President Roosevelt's tacit permission, mounted a secret campaign of propaganda and political subversion to weaken American isolationist forces, bring the country into the war against Germany, and influence U.S. policy in favor of England. Known as the British Security Coordination (BSC) -- though the initiated preferred to think of themselves as the Baker Street Irregulars in honor of the amateurs who aided Sherlock Holmes -- these audacious agents planted British propaganda in American newspapers and radio programs, covertly influenced leading journalists -- including Drew Pearson, Walter Winchell, and Walter Lippmann -- harassed prominent isolationists and anti-New Dealers, and plotted against American corporations that did business with the Third Reich. In an account better than spy fiction, Jennet Conant shows Dahl progressing from reluctant diplomat to sly man-about-town, parlaying his morale-boosting wartime propaganda work into a successful career as an author, which leads to his entrée into the Roosevelt White House and Hyde Park and initiation into British intelligence's elite dirty tricks squad, all in less than three years. He and his colorful coconspirators -- David Ogilvy, Ian Fleming, and Ivar Bryce, recruited more for their imagination and dramatic flair than any experience in the spy business -- gossiped, bugged, and often hilariously bungled their way across Washington, doing their best to carry out their cloak-and-dagger assignments, support the fledgling American intelligence agency (the OSS), and see that Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented fourth term. It is an extraordinary tale of deceit, double-dealing, and moral ambiguity -- all in the name of victory. Richly detailed and meticulously researched, Conant's compelling narrative draws on never-before-seen wartime letters, diaries, and interviews and provides a rare, and remarkably candid, insider's view of the counterintelligence game during the tumultuous days of World War II.
Author: Christopher Cooper
Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group
Release Date: 2014-07-15
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
When we think of nuclear physics, we often think of the fraught issues of nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons. However, nuclear physics has many other practical applications, including in the fields of nuclear medicine, materials engineering, and geology and archaeology. The history of nuclear physics is full of fascinating figures--Rutherford, Geiger, Bohr, Einstein, Oppenheimer--and highly dramatic experiments, triumphs, and utter tragedies. Capturing both the promise and the peril of this most fascinating science with compelling, comprehensible text and full-color photos and explanatory visual aids, this volume introduces readers to the most transformative science of the modern era.
Author: Mark Fiege
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Release Date: 2012-03-20
In the dramatic narratives that comprise The Republic of Nature, Mark Fiege reframes the canonical account of American history based on the simple but radical premise that nothing in the nation's past can be considered apart from the natural circumstances in which it occurred. Revisiting historical icons so familiar that schoolchildren learn to take them for granted, he makes surprising connections that enable readers to see old stories in a new light. Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education. By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience. For more information, visit the author's website: http://republicofnature.com/
Ausgezeichnet mit dem PEN / Faulkner Award 2012, dem Prix Femina Etranger 2012 und dem Albatros-Literaturpreis 2014. "Auf dem Schiff waren die meisten von uns Jungfrauen." So beginnt die berührende Geschichte einer Gruppe junger Frauen, die Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts als Picture Brides von Japan nach Kalifornien reisen, um japanische Einwanderer zu heiraten. Bis zu ihrer Ankunft kennen die Frauen ihre zukünftigen Männer nur von den strahlenden Fotos der Heiratsvermittler, und auch sonst haben sie äußerst vage Vorstellungen von Amerika, was auf der Schiffsüberfahrt zu wilden Spekulationen führt: Sind die Amerikaner wirklich behaart wie Tiere und zwei Köpfe größer? Was passiert in der Hochzeitsnacht? Wartet jenseits des Ozeans die große Liebe? Aus ungewöhnlicher, eindringlicher Wir-Perspektive schildert der Roman die unterschiedlichen Schicksale der Frauen: wie sie in San Fransisco ankommen (und in vielen Fällen die Männer von den Fotos nicht wiedererkennen), wie sie ihre ersten Nächte als junge Ehefrauen erleben, Knochenarbeit leisten auf den Feldern oder in den Haushalten weißer Frauen (und von deren Ehe-männern verführt werden), wie sie mit der fremden Sprache und Kultur ringen, Kinder zur Welt bringen (die später ihre Herkunft verleugnen) - und wie sie nach Pearl Harbor erneut zu Außenseitern werden. Julie Otsuka hat ein elegantes kleines Meisterwerk geschaffen, das in ebenso poetischen wie präzisen Worten eine wahre Geschichte erzählt. 'Wovon wir träumten' verzauberte bereits die Leser in den USA und in England, stürmte dort die Bestsellerlisten, wurde von der Presse hymnisch gefeiert, mit dem PEN / Faulkner Award ausgezeichnet und für zwei weitere große Literaturpreise nominiert; die Übersetzungsrechte sind inzwischen in zahlreiche Länder verkauft.
Klaus Hoffmann zeichnet ein eindrucksvolles Bild der Persönlichkeit Oppenheimers vor dem Hintergrund der wissenschaftlichen Entdeckungen seiner Zeit. Er zeigt - zum Teil mit Material aus bisher unzugänglichen Quellen - wie der Forscher mit dem Schicksal umging, das atomare Feuer gezündet zu haben.
The fascinating story of the most powerful source of energy the earth can yield Uranium is a common element in the earth's crust and the only naturally occurring mineral with the power to end all life on the planet. After World War II, it reshaped the global order-whoever could master uranium could master the world. Marie Curie gave us hope that uranium would be a miracle panacea, but the Manhattan Project gave us reason to believe that civilization would end with apocalypse. Slave labor camps in Africa and Eastern Europe were built around mine shafts and America would knowingly send more than six hundred uranium miners to their graves in the name of national security. Fortunes have been made from this yellow dirt; massive energy grids have been run from it. Fear of it panicked the American people into supporting a questionable war with Iraq and its specter threatens to create another conflict in Iran. Now, some are hoping it can help avoid a global warming catastrophe. In Uranium, Tom Zoellner takes readers around the globe in this intriguing look at the mineral that can sustain life or destroy it.
Author: Ruth H. Howes
Publisher: Temple University Press
Release Date: 2003-05-22
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
"Authors Ruth H. Howes and Caroline L. Herzenberg discuss the various scientific problems the women helped to solve as well as the discrimination they faced in their work. Their abrupt recruitment for the war effort and anecdotes of everyday life in the clandestine, improvised communities, what happened to the women after the war, and their present attitudes toward the work they did on the bomb are also included."--Jacket.