Scientists and the Development of Nuclear Weapons; From Fission to the Limited Test Ban Treaty 1939-1963
Amherst, NY: Humanity Books [An Imprint of Prometheus Books], 2003. Fourth Printing [stated]. Trade paperback. vii, , 129,  pages., Bibliography. Index. This is one of the Control of Nature Series. Initial copyright date is 1995. Larry Badash was a UCSB professor emeritus and one of the nation’s most respected historians of science. The author of seven books and numerous articles, Larry taught generations of students during his 36-year career at UCSB. Larry specialized in history of physics and specifically nuclear weapons. Larry’s popular class on “The Bomb” led to the publication of his book Scientists and the Development of Nuclear Weapons: From Fission to the Limited Test Ban Treaty, 1939-1963 (1995). Larry expanded his research on the history of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are a product of scientists assembled during World War II at the now legendary Los Alamos laboratory. In 1975 he organized a series of weekly lectures delivered by members of the Los Alamos Project. The gathering included George B. Kistiakowsky, Richard P. Feynman, and Norris Bradbury. Here the development of nuclear weapons is viewed from the perspective of the scientist. From the discovery of fission to the Manhattan Project, to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the arms race and early steps toward arms control, this book provides a context for developments in the period 1939-1963. It discusses the scientists' technical contributions, the novelty of working for the government on a secret project, political lobbying, the private anguish over the morality of creating weapons of mass destruction while being subject to public adoration as the wizards who produced the bomb, and finally the rapid descent for some into the shattering category of security risk during the McCarthy period. Lawrence Badash traces the course of this tumultuous and apocalyptic period with scientific clarity and sympathetic understanding. Condition: Very good.
Keywords: Atomic Bomb, Nuclear Weapon, Fission, Limited Test Ban Treaty, Manhattan Project, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Cold War, Arms Control, Enrico Fermi, Leslie Groves, Los Alamos, Robert Oppenheimer, Plutonium, Uranium, Thermonuclear