Kai Bird and Martin J. SherwinOct 21, 2023
The inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s major motion picture, Oppenheimer, this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography explores the life and times of J. Robert Oppenheimer – the “Father of the Atomic Bomb” – who, like the mythological Prometheus, brought atomic fire to mankind. In deep detail, Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin's American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Vintage, 2006) explores Oppenheimer’s early career at the forefront of quantum physics, his associations with left-wing politics and the Communist Party, his leadership of the Manhattan Project, and his confrontations with the moral and political consequences of scientific progress during the Cold War. Twenty-five years in the making, this definitive biography charts the rise and fall of one of the twentieth century’s most iconic and paradoxical characters and restores Oppenheimer’s legacy and his humanity.
Andrew O. Pace is a historian of moral dilemmas of US foreign relations and an adjunct professor of history at Salt Lake Community College.