Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century

3.83 avg rating
( 23 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780262740227: Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century

As a young professor at MIT in the 1920s, Vannevar Bush (1890-1974) did seminal work on analog computing and was a cofounder of Raytheon, whose initial success was based on long-lasting radio tubes. But he is best known for his role in Washington during World War II: as President Roosevelt's advisor, he organized the Manhattan Project and oversaw the work of 6,000 civilian scientists designing new weapons. His 1945 report "Science -- The Endless Frontier" spurred the creation of a system of public support for university research that endures to this day.Although he helped to give rise to the military-industrial complex, Bush was a skeptical observer of the interplay between science and politics. He warned against the dangers of an arms race and led a failed effort to halt testing of the hydrogen bomb. This balanced and gracefully written biography brings to life an American original and his times.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

G. Pascal Zachary is a senior writer at the Wall Street Journal. He has lectured on the history of technology at the University of California at Berkeley, the Smithsonian Institution, and Columbia University.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Disproving Vannevar Bush's claim that any biography of him would be terrible, Zachary (Show-Stopper!, 1994), a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, deftly follows the life and career of the single most important scientist working for the US during WW II. Zachary relies heavily on Bush's writings as well as on interviews with coworkers and family to construct a portrait of the genius who helped create the military-industrial complex when he served as director of the Office of Scientific research and Development during the war. From Tufts University, where as a student Bush registered his first patent, to Los Alamos and the explosion of the first atomic bomb--a project with which he was intimately involved--Zachary offers a vivid portrait of his subject, warts and all. Given that Bush was arrogantly technocratic (he even questioned whether a postWW II America could still function as a democracy), Zachary wisely takes a coldly objective point of view. This is not to say that Zachary's portrait of Bush dehumanizes the man. Such details as his apparently chronic nightmares as a result of having engineered the carpet bombings of Germany and Japan, his struggles with failing health and loneliness late in life, and his growing belief that the Allies had won the war but lost the peace, are all noted here. Clearly, Zachary sees Bush's defense of Robert Oppenheimer during the McCarthy-era investigation of the Manhattan Project's principal scientist as his most noble moment. Even under the liberal administrations of Kennedy and Johnson, Bush was revered as an American institution but kept at a safe distance from the White House in a not-always- successful attempt to avoid the controversy that inevitably followed the iconoclastic scientist. Of particular interest to today's technocrat will be Zachary's discussion of how Bush's memex and rapid selector inventions prefigured today's Internet. Bush remains, as this biography demonstrates, a complex, deeply controversial, and profoundly influential figure. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

G. Pascal Zachary
Published by The MIT Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0262740222 ISBN 13: 9780262740227
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description The MIT Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0262740222

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 66.74
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Zachary, G. Pascal
Published by The MIT Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0262740222 ISBN 13: 9780262740227
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description The MIT Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110262740222

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 74.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

G. Pascal Zachary
Published by The MIT Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0262740222 ISBN 13: 9780262740227
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description The MIT Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. MIT Press ed. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0262740222

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 85.79
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

G. Pascal Zachary
ISBN 10: 0262740222 ISBN 13: 9780262740227
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. New. Bookseller Inventory # S-0262740222

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 89.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Zachary, G. Pascal
Published by The MIT Press
ISBN 10: 0262740222 ISBN 13: 9780262740227
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description The MIT Press. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0262740222 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0064917

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 95.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds