Inside The Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Inside The Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Hardback

By (author) Ray Monk

$53.88

Free delivery worldwide
Available
Dispatched in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?

Additional formats available

Format
Paperback $16.47
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 832 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 240mm x 51mm | 1,231g
  • Publication date: 15 November 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 022406262X
  • ISBN 13: 9780224062626
  • Sales rank: 65,727

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'. Oppenheimer was a man of diverse interests and phenomenal intellectual attributes. His talent and drive allowed him as a young scientist to enter a community peopled by the great names of twentieth-century physics - men such as Bohr, Born, Dirac and Einstein - and to play a role in the laboratories and classrooms where the world was being changed forever. But Oppenheimer's 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. As with Ray Monk's peerless biographies of Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, "Inside the Centre" is a work of towering scholarship. A story of discovery, secrecy, impossible choices and unimaginable destruction, it goes deeper than any previous work in revealing the motivations and complexities of this most brilliant and divisive of men.

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

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

The inspired philosophical biographer of Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell now turns his attention to the nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and the profound human dilemmas of American science and the atomic bomb. This is an eagerly awaited and important book which will explore new boundaries in the writing of biography itself.

Flap copy

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 Allied effort to beat the Nazis in the race to develop the first atomic bomb - a breakthrough which was to have eternal ramifications for mankind, and made Oppenheimer famous as the 'father of the Bomb'. The son of German-Jewish immigrants, Oppenheimer was a man of diverse interests and phenomenal intellectual attributes, driven by an ambition to overcome his status as an outsider and penetrate American political and social life. His talent and drive also allowed him as a young scientist to enter a community peopled by the great names of twentieth-century physics - men such as Bohr, Born, Dirac and Einstein - and to play a role in the laboratories and classrooms where the world was being changed forever, a world where the secrets of the universe, be they held within atomic nuclei or collapsing stars, revealed themselves. But Oppenheimer's was not a simple story of assimilation, scientific success and world fame. He was a complicated and fragile personality. The implications of the discoveries at Los Alamos were to weigh heavily upon him. In the 1930s, in a climate already thick with paranoia and espionage, he would make suspicious connections, and in the wake of Allied victory his attempts to resist the escalation of the Cold War arms race would lead many to question his loyalties. This was to set him on a dangerous collision course with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunters. As with Ray Monk's peerless biographies of Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, Inside the Centre is a work of towering scholarship. A story of discovery, secrecy, impossible choices and unimaginable destruction, it goes deeper than any previous work in revealing the motivations and complexities of this most brilliant and divisive of men.