Edward Teller: The Real Dr. Strangelove

Edward Teller: The Real Dr. Strangelove

by Peter Goodchild
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674016696

ISBN-13: 9780674016699

Pub. Date: 09/28/2004

Publisher: Harvard University Press

One Nobel Prize-winning physicist called Edward Teller, "A great man of vast imagination...[one of the] most thoughtful statesmen of science." Another called him, "A danger to all that is important...It would have been a better world without [him]." That both opinions about Teller were commonly held and equally true is one of the enduring mysteries about the man

Overview

One Nobel Prize-winning physicist called Edward Teller, "A great man of vast imagination...[one of the] most thoughtful statesmen of science." Another called him, "A danger to all that is important...It would have been a better world without [him]." That both opinions about Teller were commonly held and equally true is one of the enduring mysteries about the man dubbed "the father of the H-bomb." In the story of Teller's life and career, told here in greater depth and detail than ever before, Peter Goodchild unravels the complex web of harsh early experiences, character flaws, and personal and professional frustrations that lay behind the paradox of "the real Dr. Strangelove."

Goodchild's biography draws on interviews with more than fifty of Teller's colleagues and friends. Their voices echo through the book, expressing admiration and contempt, affection and hatred, as we observe Teller's involvement in every stage of building the atomic bomb, and his subsequent pursuit of causes that drew the world deeper into the Cold War--alienating many of his scientific colleagues even as he provided the intellectual lead for politicians, the military, and presidents as they shaped Western policy. Goodchild interviewed Teller himself at the end of his life, and what emerges from this interview, as well as from Teller's Memoirs and recently unearthed correspondence, is a clearer view of the contradictions and controversies that riddled the man's life. Most of all, though, this absorbing biography rescues Edward Teller from the caricatures that have served to describe him until now. In their place, Goodchild shows us one of the most powerful scientists of the twentieth century in all his enigmatic humanity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674016699
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
512
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.46(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Glossary of Characters

Acknowledgements

1. Introduction

2. War, Revolution, Peace and Maths

3. In the Company of Gods

4. Twilight of a Golden Age

5. America the Beautiful

6. The Hungarian Conspiracy Skirmishes

7. Maverick on the Mesa

8. The Little Toe of the Ghost

9. The Legacy of Hiroshima

10. Wilderness Years

11. The Taking of Washington

12. Unholy Alliances

13. A 'Simple, Great and Stupid' Mistake

14. Technically So Sweet

15. Mike

16. 'Soled' to the Californians

17. Bravo

18. The Hearing

19. Aftermath

20. 'Almost like Ivory Soap'

21. A Matter of Detection

22. Plowshare

23. Confounding Camelot

24. Struggling Uphill

25. Bringing up the Props

26. Excalibur

27. Reykjavik

28. Brilliant Pebbles

Epilogue

Appendix 1: The New Physics: the Path that Led to Quantum Mechanics

Appendix 2: Basic Information on the History of Fission

Appendix 3: The Sketch for the 'Super' that Evolved During the Berkeley Conference, Summer 1942

Notes and References

Select Bibliography

Index

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