AUTHORLourie, Richard
TITLESakharov: A Biography
PUBLISHERBrandeis University Press
CITYHanover, NH

This biography portrays Andrei Sakharov, the famous Russian physicist, who was a creator of the Soviet H-bomb. The book begins by examining Sakharov's ancestry and early life. His father was a physicist, so he was naturally attracted to that field. He was at university at the beginning of World War II, and contributed to the defense of Moscow by helping to put out fires caused by bombs and by digging trenches. Later in the war he worked at an armament plant. After the war, he became an important member of the Russian team trying to build the atomic bomb. Once that was completed, he worked on a thermonuclear bomb. The book shows how Sakharov's scientific work never stopped him from expressing his political views, many of which caused trouble with the government. He was an early proponent of stopping nuclear testing and later spoke out openly for more democracy in the Soviet Union. He also worked very hard to defend fellow scientists and academics who were arrested by the government. The book concludes by examining Sakharov’s role in the fall of the Soviet Union, although he did not live to see the actual event. It includes photographs of Sakharov and his family.

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