J. Robert Oppenheimer was one of the most famous scientists of his generation, and this biography reveals a brilliant, ambitious, complex and flawed man, involved with some of the momentous events of the 20th century. The hardback version sold out within 4 weeks, and has since been reprinted.
Physicist and polymath, as familiar with Hindu scriptures as he was with quantum mechanics, J Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb, was the most famous scientist of his generation. This biography reveals a brilliant man, profoundly involved with some of the momentous events of the twentieth century.
Jean Hannah Edelstein the observer Sun 25 January 2009
The stern face of Robert Oppenheimer glaring from the cover of this brick of a biography may not seem inviting to a reader who is not familiar with the man, but that would be a shame. Those who dare to take on this book will find that, contrary to stereotype, physics can be a real thriller. Dogged researchers and elegant writers, Bird and Sherwin recount the history of one of America's greatest (and most reviled) scientists, the leader of the Manhattan Project, from his childhood in New York to self-imposed exile after his persecution at the hands of the infamous Senator McCarthy. A time-consuming read, but worth it: this Pulitzer Prize winner is an American epic.