AUTHORJungk, Robert
TITLEBrighter than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the Atomic Scientists
PUBLISHERHarcourt Brace Jovanovich
CITYSan Diego, CA
DATE PUBLISHED1956
ISBN0-15-614150-7


This book is a chronological account of the scientific research and the social climate that led to the creation of the first atomic bomb, and what happened in the few years after two were dropped on Japan. It begins in 1918 at the end of World War I and concludes with the espionage trial of J. Robert Oppenheimer in 1955. In between these events, Jungk describes “the remarkable men and women who discovered that nuclear fission was possible and then became morally concerned about its implications” (book cover). He goes on to explain the sequence of events during World War II that led to the development of the bomb and claims that scientists, rather than bureaucrats or the military, failed to stop its use. The author claims that German physicists refused to build the atomic bomb for Hitler, and finds that refusal ironic compared to the energetic efforts of their American and British counterparts. The book also describes the development and testing of hydrogen bombs and the early use of computers after the war. Jungk's description of passive resistance by German physicists has been challenged by historians.


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