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109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos
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109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos

3.9 12
by Jennet Conant
 

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In 1943, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant, charismatic head of the Manhattan Project, recruited scientists to live as virtual prisoners of the US government at Los Alamos, a barren mesa thirty-five miles outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In 1943, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant, charismatic head of the Manhattan Project, recruited scientists to live as virtual

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109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Reader1793 More than 1 year ago
the writer sometimes strays from the main topic (see p 55) this book otherwise is very in depth and factual
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book immensely! There is a major little mistake: Ethel Rosenberg was David Greenglass' sister! It made me wonder about other mistakes, since this is sorta bad! Otherwise, well worth the read! Best, Neal Hur, NY, NY
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first two chapters did not really grab me and that is not the writers fault. I lived that time and already knew the history of Dorothy Mckibben. Then she began to go back stage and get to the personal happenings and atmosphere. This is very well done. The only thing that dissapointed me was the little recognition to one of the very important morale builders. K.R.S. the secret radio station. She treated it like a public address system which it was not. I could have added another chapter of great stories about the station and the guys that worked it. Oh yes,,,, she has a truck load of Transistors headed to the Trinity site for the big test. Nada....probably transformers, but transistors did not come along for about 10 years or so, and are very small. Good Job Jennet. I have recommended it to over 40 former Los Alamos HS students that lived there during that time. If you want to know the true history of Los Alamos this is your book. Dan Nelis
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Conant tells the story of the Manhattan Project with an ear for human detail. She recounts famous anecdotes in a vigorous narrative rich in finely detailed descriptions. The narrative lingers in memory after you read it¿at the end, you suddenly recall little moments and small interactions that enrich our sense of this moment in human history. I highly recommend it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I found the story interesting but too much of the story was based on personal living at Los Alamos and not enough of the scientific intrests. But still a pretty good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author fails to recognize that Oppenheimer was a second-class physicist who contributed little in the way of technical expertise to the construction of the bomb. His principal value was in his ability to bring together diverse personalities to accomplish a given goal. Oppenheimer and General Groves were not friends. Oppenheimer regarded Groves as an ignoramous who had little scientific knowledge. After one conference in which Groves addressed the Los Alamos scientists, Oppenheimer commented that Groves was 'at least as smart as an Army mule.' Groves, on the other hand, didn't trust Oppenheimer and assured that he was under constant surveillance. After the war , when Oppenheimer returned to California, he immediately contacted two Communist Party officials and briefed them on U.S. nuclear policy. He placed Charlotte Serber, who had a long history of Communist activities, in charge of the Los Alamos Classified Library. Undisputable evidence points to Oppenheimer as the world's greatest spy. He betrayed the United States and was hailed as as hero.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book misses the most important fact: (1) Robert Oppenheimer loaded the Los Alamos staff with communists including his right hand physicist, Robert Serber, Serber's wife, Charlotte, David Hawkins, Bruno Pontecorvo (who fled to the Soviet Union to avoid prosecution) and inumerable others. (2) Oppenheimer's clearance was revoked because of his communist association and activities, not because of his opposition to the hydrogem bomb. The book is a fluffy redo of a number of others such as 'Behind Tall Fences'.