Kai Bird: American Prometheus The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer



Important men how they helped made their men great and even how they suffered for it For example I remember walking through a museum about Einstein a couple years ago and thinking his wife eserved 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 em four marriagesHusband 1 Why you should read your spouse s Akenfield diaryWhen Kitty was studying aboard in Europe she impulsively married a musician only toiscover when she snooped in his The Case of the Philosophers Ring by Dr. John H. Watson diary that he was a gayrug addict Strike oneHusband 2 Voluntary poverty followed by voluntary eathKitty bounced back uickly and married a handsome American activist Although both came from well to o families they chose to live in poverty to show their commitment to Communist ideals Kitty eventually 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 emotionally Several Strangers distantoctor It was Lillian Toos Little Book Of Feng Shui during this marriage that Kitty met Oppie and started some extramarital hanky panky When sheiscovered she was pregnant with Oppie s child Husband 3 and Oppie had a very civilized phone conversation where they The Winter Warrior decided it would be best if Kittyivorced one and married the other I really wish the FBI had wire tapped that call What kind of husband can calmly iscuss his wife s infidelity with her lover He must have been cold as a block of ice Husband 4 Loved by Oppie hated by everyone elseAfter all the uds 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 Toffees night noises don t know about you but Kitty wears me out And since she is not likeable 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 s enough about Kitty It s not often that I have a picture of myself reading the book I m reviewing But today is your luckyay In a scene that is probably familiar to GoodReaders here I am reading my book off in a corner uring a family get together image error It was an interesting read and an interesting life though uring the course of it I realised that Oppenheimer The Covent Garden Ladies: The inspiration behind ITV show HARLOTS didn t appeal to me at all as a personThe background is interesting particularly the role of Communism in the USAuring 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 Purely as a result of this Oppenheimer s younger brother ended up effectively in a form of internal exile in the USA unable to work at all in physicsOppenheimer 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 Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins developing the Atom bomb campaigned to have two Japanese target to The trouble with Oppenheimer is that he loves a woman whooesn t love him the United States government Albert Einstein uoted in American PrometheusThere is way too exploding in my head after reading this tonight to write a full and even 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 etail 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 even Oppenheimer3 Current atmosphere of suspicion of Science4 Current atmosphere of extreme vetting and loyalty tests5 Other Myths for Oppenheimer Pandora s Box or Flying too close to the Sun 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 escribed his childhood My life as a child Pages From Bee Journal did not prepare me for the fact that the world is full of cruel and bitter things pg 21 He wasescribed as odd neurotic and epressed by his university classmates He eventually 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 extremely intelligence and internalized the knowledge he acuired He eventually read the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads in the original Sanskrit pgs 99 102 His eep reflection and internalizing of the Gita would have a heavy impact My Indian Kitchen during his work on the atomic bomb He liked things that wereifficult And since almost everything was easy for him the things that would attract his attention were essentially the Lots of Mommies difficult 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 appointedirector 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 esign of an atomic bomb pg 180At the successful etonation 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 Fantasy Man do hisuty and to impress him takes his multi armed form and says Now I am become The Flame Of Adventure death theestroyer 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 eemed a risk to national security Towards the end of his life he gave lectures at universities and welt on broader themes of culture and science He became a humanist pondering man s survival in an age of weapons of mass Divine Magnetic Lands destruction pg 574I really enjoyed this one It was highlyetailed and contained a lot of thoroughly researched information I would recommend it Thank. Er’s life and times from his early career to his central role in the Cold War This is biography and history at its finest riveting and eeply informative From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Personally all that I new about J Robert Oppenheimer was his time uring Project Manhattan and a few The Butterfly Club details about his show trial in 1954 This book managed to bring a lot context to these events and show me as close it is possible the real Oppenheimer What else can I say this is probably the best biography of J Robert Oppenheimer there is and together with Richard Rhodes Making of the Atomic Bomb and Dark Sun makes the penultimate atomic trilogy 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 time period to get the personaletails and background history the authors assumed you knew in THIS book AlmostSure I m familiar with the basic Lilith Enraptured (Divinity Warriors 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 inetail from birth to His Substitute Bride (Seavers Brides, death with a laser s focus on every political relationship and communist connection he ever had so much so everything else is in soft focus The book becomes at times a laundry list of names 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 examined and re examined so often I felt like the authors had in effect become Oppenheimer s belatedefense team Why Tu Alma ¿La Conoces? did they feel Oppenheimer neededefending you may be asking Wasn t he a brilliant physicist the one who headed the Manhattan Project that J.M. Coetzee developed the atomic bomb Yes he certainly was Everyone in the scientific community was concerned that Germany waseveloping a bomb including Oppenheimer who was especially appalled over what was happening in fascist Germany and horrified about what was being Feminization and Chastity Training for the Sissy Husband (The League of Dominant Women done to the Jews He was eager to use his scientific skills in service of his country But the power of the bomb that waseveloped filled him with concern especially after seeing it used against a Japan that was essentially already The Club of Angels defeatedOppenheimer felt that the use of such weapons should be regulated not just 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 theevelopment 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 onated 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 etermined to both remove Oppenheimer from the Atomic Energy Commission and remove his security clearance Strauss had clashed with Oppenheimer over the evelopment of the H bomb and had eveloped 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 새로 만든 먼나라 이웃나라 12 - 미국 3 denying access to 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 was eventually rehabilitated and honored by President Johnson Oppenheimer never truly recovered from the hearingsAll of this part of Oppenheimer s life we get in exhaustiveetail What you won t learn so much about is Oppenheimer s personal life which is present in the book but not examined Oppenheimer had a magnetic personality and many relationships with women that we hear just a little about He had affairs even after his marriage to Kitty whose previous husband was a Communist who had Ossos Perdidos (Temperance Brennan, died fighting in the Spanish Civil War I wanted to know about his relationship with Kitty a tempestuous woman with a bigrinking problem We hear that the Oppenheimers gave parties where they J Robert Oppenheimer is called the father of the atomic bomb which is a shorthand way of saying that we know he Born Fighting did something important as the scientificirector of the Manhattan Project but we just aren t sure what that was What I mean is that Oppenheimer never made a great Dr. Simon Forman discovery or proposed a great theory He wasn t Rutherford explaining 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 Fermieveloping the nuclear reactor Oppenheimer was a synthesizer an understander and an explainer 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 Serving Up Secrecy (Ladies of Westside differentiscoveries together to create something good Or in this case the atomic bomb American Prometheus is a hefty biography of this enigmatic brilliant flawed man The A Wartime Nurse dual authors Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin spent a greateal of time on this 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 Split devised to bring the end to World War II with theevastation 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 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 near exhaustion followed by a month or of near exhaustion followed by a month or of renewal on horseback in the Sangre When Stories Clash de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico We learned to watch the snow on the Sangres and to look foreer in Water Canyon Phil Morrison later wrote with a lyricism that reflected the emotional 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 the pueblos and there were the caves of Otowi canyon to remind us that other men had sought water in the ry landHaving spent my early 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 Un. J Robert Oppenheimer is one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war and who later.

Ited States and pioneer this aunting 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 The Extra Cadaver Murder 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 wasevastated 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 arsenals 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 each capable of killing the other but only at the risk of his own life J Robert Oppenheimer 1953 I am in the middle of moving from one country to another so I just Perfect Girl Evolution Vol. 6 do not have the time to write aecent review of this excellent marvelous book Please if you are at all interested in either history or amazing people grab this book soon On closing this book the reader truly understands the atmosphere that swallowed up America uring the era of McCarthyism and the Cold War The reader comes to understand Oppenheimer his creativity his imagination and his fai Impressive biography of J Robert Oppenheimer the nuclear physicist who went from obscurity to international fame as the irector of the Manhattan Project to ignominy and exile over his ambivalence towards nuclear weapons and leftist political views Bird and Sherwin Dark Ties (Broken Saints Society depict Oppenheimer throughout as a genius who like many great men and women is riven through with contradictions and personal foibles He s a great lecturer and mentor to students and juniors but somewhat ill at ease around peers and non scientists aevoted husband to Kitty his brilliant but mentally troubled wife who nonetheless carried on several affairs his beliefs a strange admixture of Eastern philosophy cutting edge physics though as the authors readily admit in applying extant theories to practical application and a naivety bordering on credulity towards Communism Indeed Bird and Sherwin spend much time on Oppenheimer s politics showing that he moved in the same circles as the Far Left his wife was friends with Steve Nelson a notorious CPUSA organizer his brother Frank joined the Party he attended meetings but spurned recruitment through the idealism that led many New Deal era progressives to find common cause with the Far Left Um Fogo Eterno dislike of fascism Oppenheimer was Jewish with relatives killed in the Holocaust support for labor reforms and racial justice which weighed heavily than Stalin s atrocities The book s passages on the Manhattan Project and theevelopment of the A bomb are much lighter on science than say Richard Rhodes Making of the Atomic Bomb There s emphasis on Oppenheimer s relationships with General Groves and his fellow scientists the government s ongoing Lawn Boy Returns distrust of him which caused him to expel several suspected Soviet spies from the Project and how his scientific enthusiasm vanished as theisturbing ramifications of nuclear weapons become clear Oppenheimer all but renounced his achievements after WWII leading to investigations by Congress and the FBI the humiliating revocation of his security clearance and a vagabond life Yolandas Genius drifting between teaching at Princeton foreign lectures and warnings about the Cold War For its immersive prose sharp judgments and capturing Oppenheimer in all his maddening complexity a great man fatally inured to risk in science politics and romance this biography stands in all likelihood asefinitive Let s The Fairytale Hairdresser and Sleeping Beauty do the numbers599 pages of text256 books read for research44 articles andissertations consulted41 manuscript collections pillaged10 government The Light Beyond the Forest 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 in the making38ays to read across 3 cities23 corners folded by this girl to mark something fascinatingTo The First Mistake describe this book as merely well researched would be an insult It is an exhaustively thorough look at an important American figurethat I had never heard of when myad 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 Jewelry Making For Beginners development of the atomic bomburing 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 ocumentarybookcolor 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 exactly can you expect 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 exactly id he learn at that wacko school as a youngster Did he pay party The Penguin Book of English Verse dues Whyidn t he report that conversation earlier Why Seven Secrets of Happiness did he meet with that person on thatay 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 The Killer Cats Birthday Bash (The Killer Cat, down a man who hadevoted his life to The Force of Destiny doing what he thought was best for this country2 Luminaries of theayAs brilliant as Oppie was he was also surrounded by brilliant people After nearly every The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters (Chapter 9 Provocateur) 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 theay 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 era of American historyThe authors evoked not just the people but also stepped back and evoked the times starting with the rush to How I Became a Nun develop the atomic bomb before the Germans hurry hurry hurry and then theebate that followed Hiroshima was that really necessary what now build another It was a The Rose Tattoo and Other Plays dicey time for America and the world I had learned some of thisuring 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 isappointed while I was greatly pleased5 His wifeI have become increasingly interested in the stories of the women behind. 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.

Kai Bird is an American Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist best known for his biographies of political figures He has also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography the Duff Cooper Prize a Woodrow Wilson Center Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship He is a Contributing Editor of The Nation magazineBird was born in 1951 His father was a US Foreign Service officer