THE PHYSICISTS by Daniel J. Kevles

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This magnificent account of the coming of age of physics in America has been heralded as the best introduction to the history of science in the United States. Unsurpassed in its breadth and literary style, Kevles's account portrays the brilliant scientists who became a powerful force in bringing the world into a revolutionary new era. The book ranges widely as it links these exciting developments to the social, cultural, and political changes that occurred from the post-Civil War years to the present. Throughout, Kevles keeps his eye on the central question of how an avowedly elitist enterprise grew and prospered in a democratic culture. In this new edition, the author has brought the story up to date by providing an extensive, authoritative, and colorful account of the Superconducting Super Collider, from its origins in the international competition and intellectual needs of high-energy particle physics, through its establishment as a multibillion-dollar project, to its termination, in 1993, as a result of angry opposition within the American physics community and the Congress.

About Daniel J. Kevles

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Daniel J. Kevles, the Stanley Woodward Professor of History at Yale University, taught American history for many years at the California Institute of Technology. He has written extensively on the history of science and its relationship to American politics and society in the twentieth century. His works include The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America and In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the Society of American Historians and is currently a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians.
Published June 5, 2013 by Knopf. 500 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, History. Non-fiction

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In this absorbing and comprehensive study of the birth and development of physics—a time span of just about a century in America—Kevles neatly demonstrates how scientific creativity and inspiration make for a hierarchical elitism which vies with the egalitarian spirit of a democracy.

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