Brotherhood of the Bomb Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Brotherhood of the Bomb

The author, a senior historian and curator at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum, presents an inside look at the men who developed America's atomic weapons between 1930 and 1960, centering on Ernest Lawrence (inventor of the cyclotron), J. Robert Oppenheimer (the theoretical physicist who shepherded the atomic bomb to fruition, and lived to regret it), and Edward Teller (father of the H-bomb). But the story is primarily political: Herken uses FBI files to describe the efforts of some government officials to destroy Oppenheimer (with the sometime assistance of Lawrence and Teller) under the suspicion that he was a Soviet spy. The tale would be comically ironical if its geopolitical and scientific results had not been so costly and dire. Herken largely keeps his personal judgments out of the narrative, letting the players and facts speak pretty much for themselves.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Brotherhood of the Bomb

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Kind Of History

Time of history:    -   1950's    -   1940's    -   1930's History of cloak & dagger?    -   Yes Nationality?    -   American--General Players:    -   FBI History of a science?    -   Yes Kind of science    -   Physics

Subjects of this Historical Account

Ethnicity (if plays a major part)    -   European/White Is the portrayal sympathetic?    -   Somewhat sympathetic Intelligence of subject of history:    -   Smart


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West    -   Northeast    -   California Big City?    -   Yes City:    -   Washington D.C.

Writing Style

How much gore?    -   1 () How fast-paced is the book?    -   3 () Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Book makes you feel...    -   concerned How much focus on stories of individuals?    -   Focuses mostly on history of key players How much romance?    -   1 () Minor characters feature lots of:    -   scientists Pictures/Illustrations?    -   A handful Length of book    -   300-350 pages How much emphasis on small details?    -   3 ()

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Gregg Herken Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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