Inside the Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Inside the Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Paperback Vintage Books

By (author) Ray Monk

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 832 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 44mm | 653g
  • Publication date: 7 November 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099433532
  • ISBN 13: 9780099433538
  • Sales rank: 119,427

Product description

J. Robert Oppenheimer is among the most contentious and important figures of the twentieth century. As head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, he oversaw the successful effort to beat the Nazis to develop the first atomic bomb - a breakthrough which was to have eternal ramifications for mankind, and made Oppenheimer the 'father of the Bomb'. But his was not a simple story of assimilation, scientific success and world fame. A complicated and fragile personality, the implications of the discoveries at Los Alamos were to weigh heavily upon him. Having formed suspicious connections in the 1930s, in the wake of the Allied victory in World War Two, Oppenheimer's attempts to resist the escalation of the Cold War arms race would lead many to question his loyalties - and set him on a collision course with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunters.

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Author information

Ray Monk is the author of Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius for which he won the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Duff Cooper Award, and Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude. He is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton.

Review quote

"An extraordinarily rich biography, superbly researched and written with impressive clarity." The Times "You don't need to know your quantum physics to be gripped by Monk's doorstop study of the momentous life of J Robert Oppenheimer... Monk serves his subject well by sparing us neither the worst nor the best in him." -- Ed Caesar Sunday Times "Superlative." -- Boyd Tonkin Independent "Illuminating." Nature "[A] fine biography... Oppenheimer has already been served well by biographers. However, Monk here takes the scholarship to a new level." BBC History Magazine

Editorial reviews

You don’t need to know your mesons or your melons to be gripped by Oppenheimer’s discursive journey to the heart of the American atomic machine.