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Gregg Herken 2023

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Brotherhood of the Bomb: The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller (Henry Holt and Co. 2002)

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[ NEW EVIDENCE: Website updated 2023 ]

Brotherhood of the Bomb
is the fascinating story of the men who founded the nuclear age, fully told for the first time. The story of the twentieth century is largely the story of the power of science and technology. Within that story is the incredible tale of the human conflict between Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller - the scientists most responsible for the advent of weapons of mass destruction. How did science - and its practitioners - enlisted in the service of the state during the Second World War, become a slave to its patron during the Cold War? The story of these three men, builders of the bombs, is fundamentally about loyalty - to country, to science, and to each other - and about the wrenching choices that had to be made when these allegiances came into conflict.

"Brotherhood of the Bomb is fast-paced, deeply researched, and resolves many longtime mysteries..."
- Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

Gregg Herken is an emeritus professor of modern American diplomatic history at the University of California, Santa Cruz & Merced. He is the author of The Winning Weapon: The Atomic Bomb in the Cold War, 1945-1950 (Knopf, 1981), Counsels of War (Knopf, 1985), and The Georgetown Set: Friends and Rivals in Cold War Washington (Knopf, 2014). Brotherhood of the Bomb was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2003.