Creating the New World: Stories & Images from the Dawn of the Atomic Age Paperback – 12 Dec 2003
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About the Author
Dr. Rockwell worked in nuclear energy for nearly 60 years: on the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; as Technical Director of Admiral Hyman Rickover's nuclear Navy program; and building the world's first commercial atomic power station; as a founding officer of the respected engineering firm, MPR Associates; and of Radiation, Science & Health, an international public interest organization. He has Distinguished Service Medals from both Navy and Atomic Energy Commission and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has created patents, books, and articles ranging from 'Frontier Life Among the Atom Splitters' (SatEvePost, Dec. 1, 1945) to strobe light stop-action coverage of fighting cocks (True, Feb. 1947) and 'Scientific Integrity and Mainstream Science' (The Scientist, Mar. 6, 2000). See: http://members.authorsguild.net/tedrockwell
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Rockwell is truly one of the American history's unsung heroes, having worked on the "Manhattan Project" supporting the development of the world's first Atomic Bomb, serving as Technical Director of Admiral Hyman Rickover's Nuclear Navy Program that founded America's Nuclear Navy and built the first commercial nuclear power plant at Shippingport, PA, and co-founded a leading engineering firm specializing in high-reliability technologies. Rockwell is also the author or editor of several government publications, articles in trade magazines, as well as a book -- "The Rickover Effect: How One Man Made A Difference."
One of the most astonishing facets of Rockwell is that despite his incredible technical accomplishments, he is able to relate his experience in the nuclear industry in a way that non-technical people like myself understand and appreciate. Throughout the book he is able to relate political, social, and technical issues clearly and persuasively, to give an appreciation of the subject matter.
The first four chapters discuss his work in the Manhattan Project from the time he was recruited out of college into the program at Oak Ridge. He does a great job describing the life style during World War II, explaining how the people banded together to build a community dedicated and their optimism of ending the war through the secret weapon they were developing. The next three chapters mesh Rockwell's work in Rickover's nuclear navy program and explain how his work there defined the values and principles that ultimately made him who he is today. The remaining chapters discuss some of the defining moments later in his life, such as his work evaluating the Three Mile Island accident, discussing the fallacy of that being pro-environment means being anti-nuclear, and revealing the other 90% of nuclear uses that people rarely think of. His overall theme in this book is to show that nuclear technology is "understandable and beneficial" to society.
This book is a must read for anyone that works with nuclear technologies and particularly serves as a means of conveying the history of the industry to the next generation of nuclear workers. However, anyone seeking to learn more about the evolution of nuclear technologies from a historical perspective would also benefit.
The one flaw I found in this book is that it retells some of the same stories that were part of "The Rickover Effect," although at a different level. Then again, if the stories were not the same in both books, that would leave me scratching my head also.
another thing that makes this a great read is that this book is NOT pro-nuclear. nor is it entirely about nuclear power. this book deals a lot about the public and the media. the book is like one whole, long, and extensive example about how the media can distort public perception on a subject ignoring numerous studies and facts that have long since been proved and acknowledge. the author questions how it came to be that the public scrutinizes scientists and engineers for not taking into consideration the 'dangers' of nuclear power and lack of safeguards to it. in one instance the author recalls the Three Mile Island incident. he doesn't defend it, nor cast blame. he just states what happens then asks at what point is it bad to have too many safeguards in place, explaining that the operators at the plant were faced with over 100 alarms within two minutes and the alarms continually going off. he gives the reader a brief insight into the mindset of what was going on. But again, he does not provide a biased view. he also goes into what could and should have happened and compares it to rickover's nuclear navy.
the book also goes into depth about relative perceptions as that really is the only way to give a full description of nuclear power without knowing much on the subject. such as what is more damaging to the body, working as a nuclear operator receiving radiation from a reactor or working in a conventional power plant. or smoking everyday to working around a nuclear power plant everyday.
of course the reader may get the impression that all media is bad and untruthful, but the author encourages the reader to not be biased. to not be so subjective. to just simply read the facts and base conclusions on that. to not watch the news and expect them to automatically distort it but to listen to the facts and the possible facts left out to make your own conclusions. to be your own detective really.
"The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead."