Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) February 8, 2008
Priscilla McMillan has created a new Web site at http://h-bombbook.com to explore the case of J. Robert Oppenheimer's security revocation, how it relates to the arms race, and how research into this historic incident is being conducted today.
Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was the head of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb in 1945. Acclaimed as a national hero, he became the US government's chief advisor on nuclear policy after the war.
On April 12, 1954, at the height at the McCarthy era, the country was surprised to learn that Oppenheimer was accused of being a security risk and faced withdrawal of his top-secret security clearance. Within weeks, he was barred from access to the nation's nuclear secrets. Why had the leader of the Manhattan Project been cast into overnight disgrace?
The hearing in April and May of 1954 was the culmination of a lengthy campaign by a cabal of hard-line air force officials, anti-Communist politicians, and rival scientists such as Edward Teller to steer US weapons policy toward reliance on larger and more deadly nuclear weapons.
The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Penguin Books: 2006) tells the inside story of events that led to the hearing. The hearing was a tragedy for everyone involved. But its key outcome was the destruction of Oppenheimer and the marginalizing of scientists who had urged restraint in the expansion of nuclear armaments.
The book draws upon in-depth interviews, the private papers of participants and newly declassified U.S. government documents. Priscilla McMillan's new Web site provides access to these new sources of information, and encourages the use of these sources by teachers, students and scholars researching events ranging from the arms race to civil liberties.
Priscilla McMillan is an Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. She is author of Khrushchev and the Arts and Marina and Lee.
For additional information, contact Meryl Libbey or visit http://h-bombbook.com.