Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler

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9780099581642: Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler

After World War II, most scientists in Germany maintained that they had been apolitical or actively resisted the Nazi regime, but the true story is much more complicated. In Serving the Reich, Philip Ball takes a fresh look at that controversial history, contrasting the career of Peter Debye, director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin, with those of two other leading physicists in Germany during the Third Reich: Max Planck, the elder statesman of physics after whom Germany’s premier scientific society is now named, and Werner Heisenberg, who succeeded Debye as director of the institute when it became focused on the development of nuclear power and weapons.        
 
Mixing history, science, and biography, Ball’s gripping exploration of the lives of scientists under Nazism offers a powerful portrait of moral choice and personal responsibility, as scientists navigated the grey zone between complicity and resistance.” Ball’s account of the different choices these three men and their colleagues made shows how there can be no clear-cut answers or judgement of their conduct. Yet, despite these ambiguities, Ball makes it undeniable that the German scientific establishment as a whole mounted no serious resistance to the Nazis, and in many ways acted as a willing instrument of the state.
 
Serving the Reich considers what this problematic history can tell us about the relationship of science and politics today. Ultimately, Ball argues, a determination to present science as an abstract inquiry into nature that is above politics” can leave science and scientists dangerously compromised and vulnerable to political manipulation.

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Serving the Reich tells the story of physics under Hitler. While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any 'Jewish ideas', many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. Among them were world-renowned physicists Max Planck, Peter Debye and Werner Heisenberg. After the war most scientists in Germany maintained they had been a political or even resisted the regime: Debye claimed that he had gone to America in 1940 to escape Nazi interference in his research; Heisenberg and others argued that they had deliberately delayed production of the atomic bomb. In a gripping exploration of moral choices under a totalitarian regime, here are human dilemmas, failures to take responsibility and three lives caught between the idealistic goals of science and a tyrannical ideology.

About the Author:

Philip Ball is a freelance writer and a consultant editor for Nature, where he previously worked as an editor for physical sciences. He writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and his many books include Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another (winner of the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books), The Music Instinct, Unnatural: The Heretical Idea of Making People and, most recently, Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Serving the Reich tells the story of physics under Hitler. While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any Jewish ideas , many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. Among them were world-renowned physicists Max Planck, Peter Debye and Werner Heisenberg. After the war most scientists in Germany maintained they had been a political or even resisted the regime: Debye claimed that he had gone to America in 1940 to escape Nazi interference in his research; Heisenberg and others argued that they had deliberately delayed production of the atomic bomb. In a gripping exploration of moral choices under a totalitarian regime, here are human dilemmas, failures to take responsibility and three lives caught between the idealistic goals of science and a tyrannical ideology. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780099581642

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Serving the Reich tells the story of physics under Hitler. While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any Jewish ideas , many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. Among them were world-renowned physicists Max Planck, Peter Debye and Werner Heisenberg. After the war most scientists in Germany maintained they had been a political or even resisted the regime: Debye claimed that he had gone to America in 1940 to escape Nazi interference in his research; Heisenberg and others argued that they had deliberately delayed production of the atomic bomb. In a gripping exploration of moral choices under a totalitarian regime, here are human dilemmas, failures to take responsibility and three lives caught between the idealistic goals of science and a tyrannical ideology. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780099581642

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. Tells the story of physics under Hitler. In an exploration of moral choices under a totalitarian regime, this title deals with human dilemmas, failures to take responsibility and three lives caught between the idealistic goals of science and a tyrannical ideology. Num Pages: 320 pages. BIC Classification: 1DFG; 3JJH; HBWQ; PDX; PDZ; PH. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 130 x 198 x 24. Weight in Grams: 304. . 2014. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099581642

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