J. Robert Oppenheimer The Life and L..., Charles River Editors
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J. Robert Oppenheimer: The Life and Legacy of the Father of the Atomic Bomb

Narrator: KC Wayman

Unabridged: 1 hr 46 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Published: 05/23/2022


Tens of millions died during World War II as the warring powers raced to create the best fighter planes, tanks, and guns, and eventually that race extended to bombs which carried enough power to destroy civilization itself. While the war raged in Europe and the Pacific, a dream team of Nobel Laureates was working on the Manhattan Project in America, a program kept so secret that Vice President Harry Truman didn’t know about it until he took the presidency after FDR’s death in April 1945. The pursuit of nuclear weapons moved the scientist nearer to the role of combatant, placing special responsibilities on the scientific community to make critical moral decisions. However, as they developed atomic weapons, they could at the same time only warn military powers of their use. Advocates for nuclear power as a civilian energy resource but expressing misgivings about nuclear war put them at odds with uninformed branches of the military. The American government and the population at large, who possessed little understanding of the perilous science behind the technology, brought about charges of unpatriotic behavior for such misgivings. Scientists, meanwhile, were caught between the excitement of creating a new paradigm, and the dread of their eventual use. The American war effort against the Japanese and Germans also included denying either one the use of a practical nuclear weapon. Physics was in its highest stage of advancement in Europe during this time, while J. Robert Oppenheimer emerged as an extraordinary scientific mind in the United States. Despite requiring the work of thousands of scientists and assistants in fashioning the weapon that eventually came to pass, Oppenheimer alone has been become renowned as the “father of the atomic bomb” due to his leadership of the Manhattan Project.