Download American Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer [PDF] By Kai Bird And Martin J. Sherwin

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BookAmerican Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer
AuthorAli Parker

American Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer Book PDF download for free

American Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer Book PDF download for free

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • The authorized biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer American Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the iconic figures of the 20th century, a brilliant physicist who spearheaded the war effort to build his country’s atomic bomb and then faced the moral consequences of scientific progress.


In American Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer masterful and acclaimed biography of 25 years, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin chronicle the life and times of Oppenheimer, from the beginning of his career to his pivotal role in the Cold War. This is biography and history at its finest, captivating and deeply informative.

American Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer Pdf Download

Rarely do you read a biography so detailed, so clear in ideas, and so beautifully written that it can be considered literature. For the past week I have been delightfully engrossed in American Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer book, alternating between amazement and disgust. Oppenheimer is a unique figure in American history: starting out as an academic, he became the chief administrator of one of the most important technological advances in human history – the use of the atom – and then a “wise man,” a politically savvy in the McCarthy era are crushed and ruined because their views differed from those in power. It is an incredible journey.

Oppenheimer came from a privileged background: not only was he blessed with an absolutely first-class mind and great wealth, but he was in the right place at the right time, during a revolution in the science and also then in technology. He started out as a sheltered child prodigy, a scholar of science and literature who graduated in theoretical physics just as quantum mechanics was in its final stages of development.

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His mentors were the explorers themselves, and he studied alongside Heisenberg and virtually all the greats in the field. He later became a professor at Cal Tech and Berkeley, where at age 20 he built the best physics department in the United States. Without exaggeration, I think this period will be considered as influential as the Renaissance or the Enlightenment.

However, as the authors report, his rise was anything but easy. Oppenheimer suffered from some kind of mental illness, depression, or worse. Given his loving childhood, it’s hard to say what really went wrong, but he did contemplate suicide and even poisoned an apple left behind by one of his opponents, nearly getting him fired from Cambridge.

What perhaps partly explained was that Oppenheimer was one of those guys whose ambitions are so outrageous (and utterly unfathomable) that he had to operate at the highest pinnacle to fully feel within himself that he didn’t do much more than the type of him. narcissism had to seek perfection. In addition to his personal charm and intellectual charisma, he had many character flaws that aroused great resentment and even bitter hatred throughout his career.

Despite the authors’ admiration, they are highly critical of Oppenheimer. He was too eager to advance his ideas systematically, through the mathematical proofs required for a Nobel Prize in theoretical physics, so he simply contributed to the discoveries of others. So he wasn’t really original as a scientist, but as a “synthesizer”.

His attention was also unduly divided while learning languages, apparently including Sanskrit, so that he could read the Bhagavagita in the original, as he did Dante’s Inferno in Italian and Les Fleurs du Mal in French, and during the Depression he broadened his interests to politics. he looked to communism as a possible cure for the social ills he saw, the Spanish Revolution and opposition to Nazism.

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Because of his scientific breadth, he was chosen to lead the Manhattan Project. Although many predicted that his aggressive behavior and arrogance would derail his leadership efforts, he surprised even his critics by becoming a master administrator, finding the right person for the job, inspiring them and all, all the myriad problems that needed solving. , kept up. on his head and advancing just at the required moment.

Perhaps this is where he developed his true genius as an administrator. When the bomb finally went off, he was nearly 40 years old and, after Einstein, the world’s most famous scientist. He then took over the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ and made it a focal point of intellectual endeavor in the United States.

Meanwhile, his enemies were biding their time, gathering information about him through years of FBI surveillance and illegal wiretapping, and biding their time to attack him. Many of them held petty personal grudges against him, such as Lewis Strauss of the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission). They considered his old communist connections, some bad judgments and certain self-destructive behaviors, as occasional lies, as well as his marital infidelities and personality quirks.

The case they built takes up too much of the book, though it did culminate in an AEC Security Committee hearing that stripped him of his security clearance and barred him from the upper levels of government and the establishment he had come to love. The hearing was not a “trial” with due process or even constitutional guarantees, revealed nothing new that was not known when he first received Army clearance in 1943, and was not convicted of any crime, not even one.

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His loyalty to the US was left unquestioned. instead, he was branded a “security risk” in a kangaroo court. Aside from his personal enemies, his real crime was his opposition to the development of the hydrogen bomb that the politicians wanted. There were a lot of “villains” here, including even Harry Truman and J. Edgar Hoover, which made the narrative a bit too black and white for my liking, although I agree with his interpretation.

Oppenheimer emerged from this ordeal at 50 a broken man, forever unable to function at the level to which he was accustomed. The reader really gets an idea of the man who was full of contradictions. A heavy drinker, though not as alcoholic as his troubled wife Kitty, he was not a very good father, but millions admired him for his wisdom and his public charm. He had the ability to make powerful enemies out of lifelong friends and was incredibly arrogant. I know that guy from grad school! You feel sympathy and disgust for him at the same time, or at least I do. He is an unusually nuanced and balanced portrait.

I have reviews of the American Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer book. The science is not well explained, so it will be difficult for anyone who is not familiar with it; I would have liked shorter explanations, but instead, the authors only mention theories (eg “quantum electrodynamics”) in passing. The management of the Manhattan Project is also glossed over, so the reader will have to go elsewhere for that. There are also too many supporting quotes, particularly when it comes to Oppenheimer being treated unfairly by the AEC committee, but also for trivial details.

American Prometheus The Triumph And Tragedy Of J. Robert Oppenheimer is a great biography that all atomic bomb fans, history students, and those curious about the 20th century should read. Recommended with the greatest enthusiasm.


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