The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Priscilla McMillan
and the Birth of the Modern Arms Race

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Synopsis

On April 12, 1954, the nation was astonished to learn that scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer faced charges of violating national security. Why had the charismatic leader of the Manhattan Project— the man who led the team that developed the atomic bomb that ended World War II—been cast into overnight disgrace? In this riveting narrative, bestselling author Priscilla J. McMillan draws on newly declassified U.S. government documents and materials from Russia, as well as in-depth interviews, to present the truth about the downfall of America’s most famous scientist.

McMillan re-creates the fraught years from 1949 to 1955 when Oppenheimer and a group of liberal scientists tried to head off the cabal of hard-line air force officials, anti-Communist politicians, and rival scientists—including Edward Teller—who were trying to seize control of U.S. policy and build ever more deadly nuclear weapons. The conspiracy to discredit Oppenheimer, occurring at the height of the McCarthy era and sanctioned by a misinformed President Eisenhower, was a watershed in the cold war, poisoning American politics for decades and creating dangers that haunt us today.

 

About Priscilla McMillan

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Priscilla Johnson McMillan is an associate of the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard and the author of the bestselling Marina and Lee. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, HarperÂ's Magazine, and Scientific American, among other places.
 
Published July 25, 2005 by Viking Adult. 384 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Science & Math, War. Non-fiction

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Harvard historian McMillan (Marina and Lee ) focuses on the nine-year span in the late 1940s and early '50s when Oppenheimer, who had spearheaded the developm

Jun 06 2005 | Read Full Review of The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenhe...

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