American Prometheus tells the life story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a brilliant physicist known as the ‘father of the atomic bomb.’ He led the effort to harness the incredible power of the sun to build atomic weapons during a time of war, becoming a famous scientist after the bombing of Hiroshima.

Oppenheimer had radical ideas about controlling atomic materials on an international level, which are still relevant today. He opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb and criticized the Air Force’s dangerous nuclear war plans. However, during the 1950s, powerful advocates of a massive nuclear buildup didn’t like his ideas. They worked behind the scenes to portray Oppenheimer as untrustworthy with America’s nuclear secrets.

The book delves into Oppenheimer’s life in great detail, drawing on extensive research from various sources. It covers his early education in New York City, his studies in Germany and California, and his work at Los Alamos, where he played a significant role in developing nuclear weapons. Later, he directed the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

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The biography offers a vivid picture of America during the mid-20th century, portraying Oppenheimer as a brilliant yet flawed man who was deeply involved in major historical events such as the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. It’s a mix of biography and history, providing valuable insights into our recent past and the choices we face for the future.

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