The Making of a Soviet Scientist: My Adventures in Nuclear Fusion and Space From Stalin to Star Wars

The Making of a Soviet Scientist: My Adventures in Nuclear Fusion and Space From Stalin to Star Wars

by Roald Z. Sagdeev, Sagdeev
     
 
The critically acclaimed memoir that rips the curtain of secrecy off the world of Soviet science

"Revelations and insights about the Soviet space program . . . It is good that such a wise man will live among us for a while." --The New York Times

"A rare, valuable, insider's look at the Soviet military industrial machine."--Publishers Weekly

"I found it

Overview

The critically acclaimed memoir that rips the curtain of secrecy off the world of Soviet science

"Revelations and insights about the Soviet space program . . . It is good that such a wise man will live among us for a while." --The New York Times

"A rare, valuable, insider's look at the Soviet military industrial machine."--Publishers Weekly

"I found it fascinating . . . important not only to scientists, but also for those who fashion government politics generally."--Herman Feshbach Institute Professor Emeritus Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"A real contribution to the literature of the space age."--Chicago Sun-Times

"This is a powerful yet charming account of the Soviet Union's scientific, space, and military enterprise, characterized by Sagdeev's frank and insightful style mixed with delightful humor and humanity."--Charles H. Townes Nobel Laureate in Physics University of California, Berkeley

"For all who are interested in the interaction of science and society, and in the nature of the Soviet Union as seen by a keen observer who was at the same time an 'insider' and a dedicated humanist, this book is highly recommended." --Physics Today

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sagdeev, a physicist who directed the former Soviet Union's Space Research Institute from 1973 to 1990, played a crucial role in restraining a Soviet counteroffensive to the U.S. ``Star Wars'' program, thereby helping to forestall an acceleration of the nuclear arms race in space. This modest, anecdotal memoir provides a rare, valuable insider's look at the Soviet military-industrial machine. Working on the U.S.S.R.'s abortive controlled-fusion program in the 1950s, Sagdeev witnessed Stalin's destructive interference with the scientific community. Providing close-ups of Brezhnev, Gorbachev and physicist/dissident Andrei Sakharov, his narrative shows how space projects of real scientific value were hobbled while top priority was given to costly, prestige-oriented feats meant to rival those of NASA. Sagdeev is now a physics professor at the University of Maryland; his wife, Susan Eisenhower, the book's editor, is Ike's granddaughter, adding a twist to this Cold War account. (Apr.)
Library Journal
World-class scientist Sagdeev, currently distinguished professor of physics and director of the East-West Center for Space Science at the University of Maryland, has written an autobiography of his professional career. (The work has been edited by his wife, the granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.) While the reader learns little of his personal life, this account offers great insight into the politics of Soviet science and the impact of the Cold War in shaping scientific research-East and West. As director of the Space Research Institute for the Soviet Union, Sagdeev practiced perestroika before the term came into usage; he eventually served as summit adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev and his science adviser. With its clear and easy-to-read style, absence of technical jargon, and wit and charm-even the footnotes are enjoyable-this book is highly recommended.-Elizabeth Fielder Olson, Archer & Greiner, Haddonfield, N.J.
Booknews
As an expert in plasma physics and the director of the Soviet Space Research Institute during the Brezhnev era, Dr. Sagdeev observed first-hand the inner workings of the Soviet's secret military-industrial complex. His autobiographical account of the politics and corruption involved in Soviet science--so reminiscent of simultaneous US military-industrial secrecy--offers a fascinating glimpse into a particular era and culture. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471129295
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
09/15/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
339
Product dimensions:
9.21(w) x 6.14(h) x 0.74(d)

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Meet the Author

ROALD Z. SAGDEEV is Distinguished Professor of Physics and director of the East-West Center for Space Science at the University of Maryland. As director of the Space Research Institute, the eminent physicist led the joint U.S.-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz mission and the international mission to Halley's comet. In addition to his scientific career, Dr. Sagdeev played a major political role during the first five years of perestroika, serving as an advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva, Washington, and Moscow summits.

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