What was life like for the scientists working at Los Alamos? Thomas McMahon imagines this life through the wide eyes of young Tim MacLaurin, the thirteen-year-old son of an MIT physicist who, inspired by a young woman named Maryann, worked on the project. Filled with the sensuous excitement of scientific discovery and the outrageous behavior of people pushed beyond their limits, Principles of American Nuclear Chemistry is a beautifully written coming-of-age story that explores the mysterious connections between love and work, inspiration and history.
Thomas McMahon (1943 1999) was the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Mechanics and professor of biology at Harvard University. He is the author of Loving Little Egypt and McKay's Bees, both published by the University of Chicago Press, as well as the posthumous novel, Ira Foxglove.