AUTHORConant, Jennet
TITLE109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos
PUBLISHERSimon & Schuster
CITYNew York, NY

This book tells the fascinating story of the people who lived and worked at Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the first atomic bombs were built during the Manhattan Project. It describes their day-to-day lives at Los Alamos, including leisure activities and social interactions, interspersed with some discussion of aspects and problems of the scientists' work. Particular focus is placed on two people: the scientific administrator of the project, J. Robert Oppenheimer, with descriptions of his personal traits and professional and private activities during the Manhattan Project, and Dorothy McKibbin, known as the “gatekeeper” of Los Alamos, who oriented scientists and their families on arrival at 109 East Place Street, Santa Fe and often helped them after they settled at Los Alamos. The activities at Los Alamos of important scientists, such as Edward Teller, Hans Bethe, and Enrico Fermi, lesser known scientists, and the family members of those who worked there are also discussed, along with reactions to the Trinity test and the atomic bombings of Japan. Some post-World War II issues are touched upon, including the removal of Oppenheimer’s security clearance in 1954. The author is the granddaughter of chemist and Harvard president, James Conant, who was actively involved in the management of the Manhattan Project.

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