Arms and the Physicist

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From the very start, at the age of twenty-one, Herbert F. York was swept into the century's most daring and dangerous technical achievement, the making of the atomic bomb. Throughout his fifty-year career as scientist and statesman, York has been there - at the center of this formidable and fractious era. His is not a dispassionate scholar's treatise, nor is it a reporter's story clipped from the files. Instead, this is a charged, eye-witness documentary, told in the first person by a principal actor. York takes us backstage to witness key events of our time: to the Manhattan Project for the birth of the atomic bomb; to Lawrence Livermore where the H-bomb was built; to Washington to eavesdrop on how post-war history was being forged; and to Geneva where he tried to stem the madness. Along the way, you'll meet some of our greatest heros and villains - Lawrence, Oppenheimer, Weisskopf, Teller, General Groves, President Eisenhower, and a cast of hundreds - friends, colleagues, enemies, who for more than half a century, held the fate of the world in their hands.
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Editorial Reviews

York (physics, U. of California) recounts his 50-year career in the atomic bomb industry, from his recruitment into the Manhattan Project at age 21, through his directorship of the Lawrence Livermore Labs, his role in test ban negotiations, and his directorship of defense research and engineering under Eisenhower. Most of the chapters have been published individually elsewhere. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563960994
  • Publisher: American Institute of Physics
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Series: Masters of Modern Physics Series, #12
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.43 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Series
Making Weapons, Talking Peace 3
National Security and the Nuclear-Test Ban 29
The Arms Race and the Fallacy of the Last Move 44
A Personal View of the Arms Race 48
Military Technology and National Security 58
Arms-Limitation Strategies 83
Thinking about the Arms Race 96
Origins of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory 113
Debate Over the Hydrogen Bomb 127
Eisenhower's Other Warning 144
Negotiating and the U.S. Bureaucracy 151
Comprehensive Test-Ban Negotiations 161
Strategic Reconnaissance 203
Nuclear Deterrence and the Military Uses of Space 221
Why SDI? 235
Minimum Deterrence 273
Nuclear Arms Race: Past, Present, and Future 278
Acknowledgments 289
Index 291
About the Author 295
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