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Book Note: Gregg Herken, Brotherhood of the Bomb

I read this book about 20-Jun-2003. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2002. This note was last modified Tuesday, 24-Jun-2003 08:12:47 PDT.

This note does not contain major spoilers for the book.


I should probably remind you again that I don't consider "spoilers" to be a valid concept in non-fiction.

This is a book about the people who did a lot of the major work on the atomic bombs (fission and fusion), and the politics surrounding it. It's annoyingly focused on the political, and annoyingly lacking in scientific content. It's also annoyingly lacking in insight; the author doesn't seem to have noticed that everybody in academia in the 1930s would have had lots of "communist" friends, for example. Lots of the strange behaviors, like Grove forcing Oppenheimer's clearance through, make a lot more sense if you realize that.

Since it starts out in Berkeley in the 1930s, it overlaps with my father's time and friends somewhat. And in fact Kenny May appears (briefly) on page 54.

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David Dyer-Bennet