At the Heart of the Bomb: The Dangerous Allure of Weapons Work

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9780201567526: At the Heart of the Bomb: The Dangerous Allure of Weapons Work

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From Publishers Weekly:

To the scientists and engineers who design nuclear weapons at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, comfortable routine has replaced Promethean purpose. Many of these technicians, according to Rosenthal, see themselves as working not on bombs, but rather on a tiny, technically interesting facet of a larger project. One scientist interviewed compares the neutron bomb to a rifle and implies that there is no ethical distinction between them. Rosenthal, political scientist at the University of New Mexico, observes that the weapons designers' neutral, disengaged attitude spills over into their marriages and daily lives; their vaunted scientific objectivity leads to a muddle when they consider the political and moral significance of their work. One of the most chilling books ever written about the doomsday machine that is the nuclear arms race, this field report is a dazzling, eerie and gruesome portrayal of life on the edge of Armageddon.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Rosenthal (political science, Univ. of New Mexico) examines the thoughts and feelings of the scientists and engineers who conduct nuclear weapons research at the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories in New Mexico. Two similar books, William Broad's Star Warriors: A Pentrating Look into the Lives of the Young Scientists Behind Our Space-Age Weaponry ( LJ 1/86) and A.G. Mojtabai's Blessed Assurance: At Home with the Bomb in Amarillo, Texas ( LJ 8/86), had more immediacy than this one, given the current downscaling of the arms race. Nevertheless, the nuclear threat still exists, and though Rosenthal gives no new insight into what motivates people to design and build weapons of mass destruction, her book adds an interesting case study to the work in this field.
- Jennifer Scarlott, World Policy Inst., New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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