AUTHORThackara, James
TITLEAmerica's Children
PUBLISHERThe Overlook Press
CITYNew York, NY
DATE PUBLISHED2001
ISBN1-58567-111-8


This novel traces the rise and fall of the career of J. Robert Oppenheimer. It begins with his days as professor at the University of California, Berkeley, follows him as the first director of Los Alamos during World War II and as the postwar leader of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), and concludes with the AEC hearing that led to denial of his security clearance in 1954. All of the characters in the novel represent real people who were involved in the Manhattan Project and the post-World War II nuclear weapons program of the United States. The author develops a fictional interpretation for each character in the context of actual historical events, and he presents fictional accounts of Oppenheimer's relationships with his wife, scientific colleagues, military officers, and government officials. The story line attempts to capture Oppenheimer's thoughts as well as the thoughts of the people who influenced the major events of his career.


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