AUTHORMajor, John
TITLEThe Oppenheimer Hearing
PUBLISHERStein and Day Publishers
CITYNew York, NY
ISBNno number - use WorldCat search box

During the anti-communist McCarthy era in the United States, prominent physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was called to a hearing as a security risk and his security clearance was consequently revoked; that case is the subject of this book. It provides a detailed account of the hearing and its scientific and political context. Oppenheimer had been responsible for constructing the first atomic bombs during World War II, and had been an important government advisor. His communist ties were seen as valid reasons for revoking his security clearance, which destroyed his public career. He had opposed the building of the hydrogen bomb, and as a brilliant and sometimes sharp-tongued scientist who wished for scientists' views to be influential in public policy, he had made personal enemies. The author argues that those facts contributed to the results of the hearing, and that it was a miscarriage of justice. No acts of contrition were made to Oppenheimer until he received the Fermi Award about a decade later. The book is well-researched, and has a useful index.

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