AUTHORMcMillan, Priscilla J.
TITLEThe Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Modern Arms Race
CITYNew York, NY

This biography focuses on physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer's role in the U.S. nuclear program from 1945 to 1955 and the conflict at the time between people advocating arms control and those in favor of the development of more powerful thermonuclear weapons. That conflict pitted Oppenheimer and like-minded persons against a community led by physicist Edward Teller and bureaucrats Lewis Strauss and William Borden. The conflict was manifested in Oppenheimer’s opposition to the hydrogen bomb, Teller’s drive to establish a nuclear laboratory at Livermore, California, separate from the Los Alamos laboratory, and differences between Strauss and Oppenheimer. It culminated in the 1954 Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) hearing that denied Oppenheimer his security clearance. The author, a recognized historian, presents an interesting, well documented, view of the events that she feels contributed to the acceleration of the Cold War arms race.

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