He is known as the father of the atomic bomb, but J Robert Oppenheimer was muchthan that As scientific director of the Los Alamos atomic weapons laboratory during the second world war, Oppenheimer was a social symbol, a nodal point where scientific, political and military interests clashed It is this sociological aspect of his life that Thorpe focuses on hereOppenheimer The Tragic Intellect is not a conventional, cradle to grave biography like Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin s American Prometheus, winner of a Pulitzer Prize inRather, Thorpe concentrates mainly on Oppenheimer s transition from academia to his post as scientific director of the Manhattan Project, and subsequently his security hearing and the period in Oppenheimer s life as Thorpe puts it after he was excommunicated from the inner circle of the nuclear state This is an outstandingly well researched book, a pleasure to read and distinguished by the high quality of its observations and judgments It will be of special interest to scholars of modern history, but non specialist readers will enjoy the clarity that Thorpe brings to common misunderstandings about his subject Graham Farmelo Times Higher Education SupplementBecause he directed the US effort to develop the atomic bomb, physicist J Robert Oppenheimer at the height of World War II became a new kind of icon among select scientists Perhaps never before in history had a scientist held so much power Oppenheimer s development and oversight of the Los Alamos National Laboratory changed the dynamics of physics research and scientific ethics Thorpe paints an illuminating picture of this charismatic teacher and researcher and documents his downfall in the aftermath of his work at Los Alamos Thorpe notes that Oppenheimer s and his fellow scientists concerns about the morality of developing the bomb were eclipsed by their focus on technical issues Later, Oppenheimer became a staunch critic of the continuing development of nuclear weapons and thus made himself a target of government scrutiny The FBI eventually accused him of being an enemy agent Science NewsHe isknown as the father of the atomic bomb, but J Robert Oppenheimer was muchthan that As scientific director of the Los Alamos atomic weapons laboratory during the second world war, Oppenheimer was a social symbol, a nodal point where scientific, political and military interests clashed It is this sociological aspect of his life that Thorpe focuses on hereSam Kean, New Scientist Sam KeanNew ScientistAn original and compelling analysis of Oppenheimers life and role as a scientific leaderMary Jo Nye, Chemical Heritage Mary Jo Nye Chemical Heritage Adeeply insightful and rigrously researched and reasoned account Thorpe utilizes new rounds of oral histories, extensive surveys of archives and existing literature, and a sharp analysis of the brotherhood who produced the first atomic bomb and of the subsequent debates on nuclear power to produce innovative insights and understandings about this enigmatic person Jon Hunner Register of the Kentucky Historical Society Charles Thorpes superbly engaging book is less a biography of Oppenheimer than a study of social identity and self fashioning the kind of analysis now familiar in the history of early modern science but rarer in twentieth century workWhile many biographers have grappled with the complexities of Oppenheimers character, Thorpe is the first to provide a thorough sociologically and culturally grounded analysis of this protean figure The books powerful, sophisticated and persuasive analysis adds new critical depth to our understanding of Oppenheimer But he remains a symbol still through him the book significantly changes the way we should think about post war American science and twentieth century sciencegenerallyJeff Hughes, British Journal for the History of Science Jeff Hughes British Journal for the History of Science Thorpe s book is magnificently well researched, elegantly written, and analytically profound It is packed with new and original insights Oppenheimer The Tragic Intellect is one of the finest books I have ever read Richard Polenberg Journal of American History A fascinating new perspectiveThorpe s book provides the best perspective yet for understanding Oppenheimer s Los Alamos years, which were critical, after all, not only to his life but, for better or worse, the history of mankind Catherine Westfall, Nature Catherine WestfallNatureA deeply insightful and rigrously researched and reasoned account Thorpe utilizes new rounds of oral histories, extensive surveys of archives and existing literature, and a sharp analysis of the brotherhood who produced the first atomic bomb and of the subsequent debates on nuclear power to produce innovative insights and understandings about this enigmatic person Jon Hunner Register of the Kentucky Historical SocietyAt a time when the Manhattan Project was synonymous with large scale science, physicist J Robert Oppenheimer represented the new sociocultural power of the American intellectual Catapulted to fame as director of the Los Alamos atomic weapons laboratory, Oppenheimer occupied a key position in the compact between science and the state that developed out of World War II By tracing the making and unmaking of Oppenheimer s wartime and postwar scientific identity, Charles Thorpe illustrates the struggles over the role of the scientist in relation to nuclear weapons, the state, and cultureA stylish intellectual biography, Oppenheimer maps out changes in the roles of scientists and intellectuals in twentieth century America, ultimately revealing transformations in Oppenheimer s persona that coincided with changing attitudes toward science in societyHe is known as the father of the atomic bomb, but J Robert Oppenheimer was muchthan that As scientific director of the Los Alamos atomic weapons laboratory during the second world war, Oppenheimer was a social symbol, a nodal point where scientific, political and military interests clashed It is this sociological aspect of his life that Thorpe focuses on hereOppenheimer The Tragic Intellect is not a conventional, cradle to grave biography like Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin s American Prometheus, winner of a Pulitzer Prize inRather, Thorpe concentrates mainly on Oppenheimer s transition from academia to his post as scientific director of the Manhattan Project, and subsequently his security hearing and the period in Oppenheimer s life as Thorpe puts it after he was excommunicated from the inner circle of the nuclear state This is an outstandingly well researched book, a pleasure to read and distinguished by the high quality of its observations and judgments It will be of special interest to scholars of modern history, but non specialist readers will enjoy the clarity that Thorpe brings to common misunderstandings about his subject Graham Farmelo Times Higher Education SupplementBecause he directed the US effort to develop the atomic bomb, physicist J Robert Oppenheimer at the height of World War II became a new kind of icon among select scientists Perhaps never before in history had a scientist held so much power Oppenheimer s development and oversight of the Los Alamos National Laboratory changed the dynamics of physics research and scientific ethics Thorpe paints an illuminating picture of this charismatic teacher and researcher and documents his downfall in the aftermath of his work at Los Alamos Thorpe notes that Oppenheimer s and his fellow scientists concerns about the morality of developing the bomb were eclipsed by their focus on technical issues Later, Oppenheimer became a staunch critic of the continuing development of nuclear weapons and thus made himself a target of government scrutiny The FBI eventually accused him of being an enemy agent Science NewsHe isknown as the father of the atomic bomb, but J Robert Oppenheimer was muchthan that As scientific director of the Los Alamos atomic weapons laboratory during the second world war, Oppenheimer was a social symbol, a nodal point where scientific, political and military interests clashed It is this sociological aspect of his life that Thorpe focuses on hereSam Kean, New Scientist Sam KeanNew ScientistAn original and compelling analysis of Oppenheimers life and role as a scientific leaderMary Jo Nye, Chemical Heritage Mary Jo Nye Chemical Heritage Adeeply insightful and rigrously researched and reasoned account Thorpe utilizes new rounds of oral histories, extensive surveys of archives and existing literature, and a sharp analysis of the brotherhood who produced the first atomic bomb and of the subsequent debates on nuclear power to produce innovative insights and understandings about this enigmatic person Jon Hunner Register of the Kentucky Historical Society Charles Thorpes superbly engaging book is less a biography of Oppenheimer than a study of social identity and self fashioning the kind of analysis now familiar in the history of early modern science but rarer in twentieth century workWhile many biographers have grappled with the complexities of Oppenheimers character, Thorpe is the first to provide a thorough sociologically and culturally grounded analysis of this protean figure The books powerful, sophisticated and persuasive analysis adds new critical depth to our understanding of Oppenheimer But he remains a symbol still through him the book significantly changes the way we should think about post war American science and twentieth century sciencegenerallyJeff Hughes, British Journal for the History of Science Jeff Hughes British Journal for the History of Science Thorpe s book is magnificently well researched, elegantly written, and analytically profound It is packed with new and original insights Oppenheimer The Tragic Intellect is one of the finest books I have ever read Richard Polenberg Journal of American History A fascinating new perspectiveThorpe s book provides the best perspective yet for understanding Oppenheimer s Los Alamos years, which were critical, after all, not only to his life but, for better or worse, the history of mankind Catherine Westfall, Nature Catherine WestfallNatureA deeply insightful and rigrously researched and reasoned account Thorpe utilizes new rounds of oral histories, extensive surveys of archives and existing literature, and a sharp analysis of the brotherhood who produced the first atomic bomb and of the subsequent debates on nuclear power to produce innovative insights and understandings about this enigmatic person Jon Hunner Register of the Kentucky Historical SocietyAt a time when the Manhattan Project was synonymous with large scale science, physicist J Robert Oppenheimer represented the new sociocultural power of the American intellectual Catapulted to fame as director of the Los Alamos atomic weapons laboratory, Oppenheimer occupied a key position in the compact between science and the state that developed out of World War II By tracing the making and unmaking of Oppenheimer s wartime and postwar scientific identity, Charles Thorpe illustrates the struggles over the role of the scientist in relation to nuclear weapons, the state, and cultureA stylish intellectual biography, Oppenheimer maps out changes in the roles of scientists and intellectuals in twentieth century America, ultimately revealing transformations in Oppenheimer s persona that coincided with changing attitudes toward science in society