PD Smith

Living with megadeath

31 August 2007 | Doomsday Machine, Doomsday Men, Dr Strangelove, Faust, Wells, WW1 | Post a comment

BBC History Magazine has reviewed Doomsday Men in its current issue (September 2007, Vol 8, No 9). Unfortunately, the review is not available online, but in his review, Jeff Hughes - author of The Manhattan Project: Big Science and the Atom Bomb - compares my book to Gino Segrè's Faust in Copenhagen:

“In a deeper and darker study, popular science historian PD Smith takes the Faustian theme more seriously. Using a wider range of sources than Segrè (including literature, popular magazines and film), he charts the ways in which science and science fiction interacted in a quest for Doomsday ‘superweapons’ in the 20th century. From HG Wells to Dr Strangelove and after, fiction has evoked weapons of mass destruction and their consequences, and created new horizons of possibility. Many scientists and policy-makers reacted to the possibilities, and from the First World War onwards, scientists worked with the military to produce the weapons and strategies that shaped the world in which we now live. Smith’s book offers a much broader cultural-historical perspective than Segrè’s, and an equally approachable history of atomic science.”

I've not yet read Segrè's book, but I'm looking forward to doing so...

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