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American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (2005)

par Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin

Autres auteurs: Alfred Eisenstaedt (Cover photograph)

MembresCritiquesPopularitéÉvaluation moyenneMentions
2,431446,144 (4.29)83
Biography & Autobiography. History. Nonfiction. HTML:THE INSPIRATION FOR THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE OPPENHEIMER ? "A riveting account of one of history??s most essential and paradoxical figures.???Christopher Nolan, Director
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ? PULITZER PRIZE WINNER ? The definitive biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war, and who later found himself confronting the moral consequences of scientific progress.
In this magisterial, acclaimed biography twenty-five years in the making, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin capture Oppenheimer??s life and times, from his early career to his central role in the Cold War. This is biography and history at its finest, riveting and deeply informative.
??A masterful account of Oppenheimer??s rise and fall, set in the context of the turbulent decades of America??s own transformation. It is a tour de force.? ??Los Angeles Times Book Review
??A work of voluminous scholarship and lucid insight, unifying its multifaceted portrait with a keen grasp of Oppenheimer??s essential nature.... It succeeds in deeply fathoming his most damaging, self-contradictory
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I don't understand the value of exonerating the lesser communist accusations of a mass murderer. I don't care if he walked into the Kremlin and handed over the blueprints on a plate. I care that he knew it would be used on civilians and repeatedly said he didn't regret working on it afterwards. This is the most thoroughly researched book I've ever read, with a book-length bibliography & cited sources at the end. But it seems to have elevated the mystique of what I can only classify as a genocidist. To their credit, there are copious citations of why the bomb wasn't required to end the war, and everyone knew it. But most focuses on the communism. Not sure how to rate this book.
  lneukirch | Feb 4, 2024 |
A true work of art. Bird and Sherwin take on the monumental task of understanding the life and times of easily the most important man in his century. Not one character who enters the fray here is overlooked, not in their own personal history or how theirs affected the man's.

The book is not overly scientific and still manages to educate on the topic of quantum theory. It's also quite a history of the lurches in scientific understanding over time, and the men behind them.

But the most wildly interesting component of the narrative is the politics: Oppenheimer's, the country's, and the world's. Not many of us will have our individual ethics challenged so severely as did Oppenheimer. But the cautionary tale still rings loudly for personal ethics as a driving force in life, and the consequences for making a stand; or the consequences for not making a stand when necessary. Oppenheimer falls on both ends of that spectrum, as a testament to the complexity of his character.

The book is deeply personal, and doesn't read at all like a cold, dry history. This should be mandatory reading for everyone in school. Sadly, this is a story not everyone wants told. Forget Barbie - case the time to start reading this book.

Highly Recommended!!!!!
5 bones!!!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Dec 3, 2023 |
A thorough examination of a complex person during extraordinary times. American Prometheus is both a fascinating exploration of J. Robert Oppenheimer and a cautionary tail of how choices can have unexpected and destructive consequences. Highly recommended. ( )
  csayban | Oct 5, 2023 |
Fantastic. Relevant to both the times and myself personally. In many ways terribly depressing. A real page turner of a biography. ( )
  emmby | Oct 4, 2023 |
Too dry and boring. DNF ( )
  Romonko | Sep 29, 2023 |
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Bird, Kaiauteur principaltoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Sherwin, Martin J.auteur principaltoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Eisenstaedt, AlfredCover photographauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
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Modern Prometheans have raided Mount Olympus again and have brought back for man the very thunderbolts of Zeus.
-- Scientific Monthly
September 1945
Prometheus stole fire and gave it to men. But when Zeus learned of it, he ordered Hephaestus to mail his body to Mount Caucasus. On it Prometheus was nailed and kept bound for many years. Every day an eagle swooped on him and devoured the lobes of his liver, which grew by night.

-- Apollodorus, The Library, book 1:7,
second century B.C.
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for Susan Goldmark and Susan Sherwin
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Angus Cameron
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Jean Mayer
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Robert Oppenheimer's life -- his career, his reputation, even his sense of self-worth -- suddenly spun out of control four days before Christmas in 1953.
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Nonfiction. HTML:THE INSPIRATION FOR THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE OPPENHEIMER ? "A riveting account of one of history??s most essential and paradoxical figures.???Christopher Nolan, Director
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ? PULITZER PRIZE WINNER ? The definitive biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war, and who later found himself confronting the moral consequences of scientific progress.
In this magisterial, acclaimed biography twenty-five years in the making, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin capture Oppenheimer??s life and times, from his early career to his central role in the Cold War. This is biography and history at its finest, riveting and deeply informative.
??A masterful account of Oppenheimer??s rise and fall, set in the context of the turbulent decades of America??s own transformation. It is a tour de force.? ??Los Angeles Times Book Review
??A work of voluminous scholarship and lucid insight, unifying its multifaceted portrait with a keen grasp of Oppenheimer??s essential nature.... It succeeds in deeply fathoming his most damaging, self-contradictory

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