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109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the…
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109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2005; vuoden 2006 painos)

– tekijä: Jennet Conant (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
4231044,581 (3.84)4
This book captures the drama of 27 perilous months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government--freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists contending with living conditions straight out of pioneer days, racing to build the first atomic bomb before Germany could. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the 38-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Yet despite the obstacles, he forged a vibrant community through the sheer force of his personality.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:TBatalias
Teoksen nimi:109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos
Kirjailijat:Jennet Conant (Tekijä)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2006), Edition: Reprint, 448 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:to-read, general-history, espionage, ww2-all-theaters

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109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos (tekijä: Jennet Conant) (2005)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 10) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Pretty solid bio on one of the past century's more interesting and influential men. Well done. ( )
  scottcholstad | Dec 26, 2019 |
This fascinating book by the granddaughter of James B. Conant, who administrated the Manhattan Project, tells the "human story" of the creation of Los Alamos National Laboratory and the development of the nuclear bomb near the end of World War II. Though the story is framed as an account of Dorothy McKibbin, the administrator who ran the "front office" of the secret wartime lab at the Santa Fe address that serves as the book's title, it is clearly an homage to J. Robert Oppenheimer and his leadership of the wartime effort.

Conant creates wonderfully vibrant characters out of what were perhaps the oddest assortment of geniuses ever assembled. It would have been very easy for the book to become little more than a side show of mad scientists, but Conant's passion for the story keeps the inevitable quirkiness authentic and, well, lovable. Genius scientists are rarely known for their "people skills" (Oppenheimer being a grand exception), but Conant is exceptionally sympathetic in her portrayal of these often difficult personalities. The one glaring exception is her portrayal of Edward Teller, who she clearly disdains. This is not a book about the A-bomb...it is a book about the community that created the A-bomb under some of the most unusual and strenuous circumstances humans could endure.

I found particularly gratifying her discussion of the immediate aftermath of Los Alamos' success, describing fully the way the various key scientists reacted to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Her portrayal of the moral ambiguity of that moment is a great moment to consider the ever more tangled web of technological advancement, militaristic foreign policy, and political expediency. In her telling, Oppenheimer's exceptionalism is rooted in his early and keen perception of the moral dilemma created by atomic energy, summarized by his famous quote after the successful test of the first atomic bomb: "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Conant's carrying of the story into the McCarthy era, the revocation of Oppenheimer's security clearance and consultancy at the Atomic Energy Commission feels, to be honest, as if it goes a bit "beyond" where the story could have (perhaps should have) ended. And it is in that final section that her "crusading" for Oppenheimer's reputation as a great scientist and a great American--as well as her most damning remarks about Edward Teller's lack of character--becomes most strident. It's as if she wishes to provide the defense that her grandfather was unable to effectively mount at the height of the "Red Scare" of the 1950s.

I've always been fascinated by biographies of "great minds," so this book was fascinating in its incisive explorations of a COMMUNITY of such minds and how they interacted and reacted to each other. Conant does a tremendous job of drawing the reader into that story and making the reader care more about what happened to the people than about what happened to the project. It was a book long in the finishing, but a book that was worthy of the time. ( )
  Jared_Runck | Jun 28, 2017 |
While this book spends enough time on the history and science of the Manhattan Project to set its place in time and history, the joy for me was in the story of the people involved and their interaction in the remarkable closed community of Los Alamos during the production of the atom bomb. I recently visited Santa Fe and stopped to look at the door to 109 East Palace, where new employees reported after they were told merely...."Come to Santa Fe, your nation needs you." The office was run by Dorothy McKibben, a young widow who devoted herself to the project and to its leader, Robert Oppenheimer, and whose unpublished autobiography is a major source for this book. The project grew and grew till there were thousands of people living at Los Alamos; they were isolated and sworn to total secrecy during the course of the project. It is an amazing story and very well told here. ( )
  gbelik | Dec 3, 2014 |
I'm only about halfway through the book, but this is fascinating stuff. A really great read.

It's not much for the science; it's all about Oppenheimer himself, and Leslie Groves, and the other physicists and machinists and engineers... The personalities. A truly terrific book. I would recommend it for any fan of history.

It's funny; the atomic bomb has been around for some time now. And of course everyone knows at least the general outlines of the story of Los Alamos and Oppenheimer, the Manhattan Project, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the Enola Gay... Nothing new, right?

But this book puts it all into a different light. It makes the history human. All of these things are part of history; they happened in our fairly recent past. Not only that, but they are a significant part of history. No obscure battles in some country that no longer exists, lost in the mists of centuries. This was less than seventy years ago, and these events changed the world in ways that echo even now.

This book shares with you the thoughts and dreams and fears of those who made that history. How they lived, what they hoped for, why they felt compelled to do what they did....

This is an incredible story, and I'm enjoying it immensely. I would really highly recommend this book. ( )
  DHBarry | Dec 9, 2012 |
This is a great social history of what life was like at Los Alamos during the highly secretive building of the atomic bomb.
  MissErickson | Jan 21, 2011 |
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Jennet Conantensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetcalculated
Aurness, CraigKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
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They won't believe you, when the time comes that this can be told.
It is more fantastic than Jules Verne.
—James B. Conant
to the New Tork Times' William L. Laurence
in spring 1945
Omistuskirjoitus
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For Grandpa
Ensimmäiset sanat
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There was something about the man, that was all there was to it.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (3)

This book captures the drama of 27 perilous months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government--freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists contending with living conditions straight out of pioneer days, racing to build the first atomic bomb before Germany could. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the 38-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Yet despite the obstacles, he forged a vibrant community through the sheer force of his personality.

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