Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics

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9780738207780: Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics

Edward Teller is perhaps best known for his belief in freedom through strong defense. But this extraordinary memoir at last reveals the man behind the headlines--passionate and humorous, devoted and loyal. Never before has Teller told his story as fully as he does here. We learn his true position on everything from the bombing of Japan to the pursuit of weapons research in the post-war years. In clear and compelling prose, Teller chronicles the people and events that shaped him as a scientist, beginning with his early love of music and math, and continuing with his study of quantum physics under Werner Heisenberg. He also describes his relationships with some of the century's greatest minds--Einstein, Bohr, Fermi, Szilard, von Neumann--and offers an honest assessment of the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs, the founding of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and his complicated relationship with J. Robert Oppenheimer.Rich and humanizing, this candid memoir describes the events that led Edward Teller to be honored or abhorred, and provides a fascinating perspective on the ability of a single individual to affect the course of history.

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Review:

One of the great scientists of the 20th century recounts a brilliant life spanning 10 decades in his simply titled autobiography, Memoirs. Edward Teller came to the United States from Hungary in 1935 and found a place for himself at the thorny intersection of science and politics: he was deeply involved in the decision to build a hydrogen bomb during the Second World War as well as the push for missile defenses during the 1980s. His most controversial act may have been his small role in the ordeal of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who lost security clearance due to suspicious affiliations with Communist organizations. Teller says he disagreed with many of his colleague's views, but did not consider him a traitor. He also expresses remorse that his own congressional testimony was used against Oppenheimer: "I proved not only that stupidity is a general human property but that I possessed a full share of it." The bulk of Memoirs concentrates on events during the 1940s and 1950s, though Teller's influence on President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative receives plenty of attention too. --John Miller

About the Author:

Edward Teller was born in Hungary in 1908 and educated in Germany. He came to the United States in 1935. A theoretical physicist, he worked on nuclear weapons during and after World War II, and was instrumental in the development of the hydrogen bomb. A staunch advocate of national military preparedness, Teller has been involved in several controversies, most recently the debate regarding national missile defense. He helped found Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he is now Director Emeritus, and continues as a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

Judith Shoolery is a former science teacher who has worked as a writer and editor on a variety of publications, most recently as a book editor at the Hoover Institution. Now retired, she and her husband live in Half Moon Bay, California.

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Book Description Basic Books (AZ). Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 640 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 5.9in. x 1.5in.Edward Teller is perhaps best known for his belief in freedom through strong defense. But this extraordinary memoir at last reveals the man behind the headlines--passionate and humorous, devoted and loyal. Never before has Teller told his story as fully as he does here. We learn his true position on everything from the bombing of Japan to the pursuit of weapons research in the post-war years. In clear and compelling prose, Teller chronicles the people and events that shaped him as a scientist, beginning with his early love of music and math, and continuing with his study of quantum physics under Werner Heisenberg. He also describes his relationships with some of the centurys greatest minds--Einstein, Bohr, Fermi, Szilard, von Neumann--and offers an honest assessment of the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs, the founding of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and his complicated relationship with J. Robert Oppenheimer. Rich and humanizing, this candid memoir describes the events that led Edward Teller to be honored or abhorred, and provides a fascinating perspective on the ability of a single individual to affect the course of history. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780738207780

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