- Paperback: 404 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition (25 Jun. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195327128
- ISBN-13: 978-0195327120
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.8 x 15.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,763,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
J. Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Paperback – 25 Jun 2007
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"The result is what C.N. Yang called 'a kaleidoscopic approach to [Oppenheimer's] life, shedding insightful light on [his] personality and times.'"― Physics Today
"An indispensable new look at the ever-enigmatic Oppenheimer.... Although Pais details Oppenheimer's rare achievements as a researcher, teacher, and administrator, the portrait he finally delivers is that of a brilliant but arrogant mind falling short of lofty expectations."―Booklist (starred review)
"Abraham Pais, master of the scientific biography, waited 20 years before tackling his enigmatic neighbor and friend at Princeton.... Faithfully supplemented by historian Robert P. Crease, the result is a personal recollection as tormented as the atomic father's own soul."―Seed Magazine
"A gripping review of the man who really created the atomic bomb and fought to stop the hydrogen bomb. Read this book and find out why."―"Talk of the Town" (WTVF)
"J. Robert Oppenheimer was an extraordinarily brilliant and complex man. In this book Abraham Pais and Robert Crease take a kaleidoscopic approach to his life, shedding insightful light on the personality and the times of the scientist who played such an important role in the future destiny of mankind."―C. N. Yang
"A revealing portrait of one of America's most charismatic and important physicists."―Science News
"What Pais has done is nothing short of extraordinary. He has brought to light the interior life of one of the most brilliant and complex figures in the history of American physics, and both he and Crease examine with intimidating thoroughness the triumphs and failures of that remarkable man."―Chigaco Jewish Star
About the Author
Abraham Pais was Detlev W. Bronk Professor Emeritus at The Rockefeller University in New York City. A leading theoretical physicist, he was also an esteemed science writer, the author of 'Subtle is the Lord...' for which he won the American Book Award, Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World, Niels Bohr's Times, and several other books. Robert P. Crease is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and historian at Brookhaven National Laboratory. His most recent book is The Prism and the Pendulum: The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments in Science.
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Top Customer Reviews
The subject, Oppenheimer, is fascinating and I could understand the decision largely to skip his time at the Manhattan Project which has already been well covered.
So this was by no means a wasted read but it is not in the same league as Pais other work.
In his other biographies (which are brilliant!) Pais had an affinity towards his subjects (going so far as to admit that he loved Bohr). He obviously was ambivalent about Robert at the best of times. I wonder if this, as well as the fact the book was pieced together after his death, is one of the reasons the book compares so poorly with his other work.
While in Berkeley in 1936, his girlfriend Jean Tatlock of Stanford introduced him to communist party and her left-wing friends in San Francisco which led the way for great deal of trouble during McCarthy era. In 1949, Oppenheimer appeared before the house committee on un-American activities (HUAC) and answered some tough questions about his brother and left-wing friends. The Security Board's hearing in 1954 on Oppenheimer's security clearance was traumatic when they revoked his clearance. This was a sad time in his life, since he emerged from the war as an American hero, and the War department called him "a man of boundless energy, rare common sense, and possessing tremendous organizational abilities." The year 1949 was not good for Oppie, since in the same year Soviets had successfully tested an atomic bomb.Read more ›
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