PD Smith

Australian review

03 September 2007 | Curie, Doomsday Men, Haber, Oppenheimer, Teller | 2 comments

There's a great review of Doomsday Men on the Australian blog LiteraryMinded.

Here's an excerpt:

"Smith takes you inside the narratives of great writers and inside the narratives of history. He enmeshes them so that you realise just how science-fiction-like the world has become. You are present and nervous with Leo Szilard when the first nuclear reactor is tested in the University of Chicago football stadium. You witness Marie and Pierre Curie holding up a vial of ‘luminous’ radium. You experience a terrifying eyewitness account of Hiroshima. Smith gets right into the conflicts of these people, allowing you to relate to their situations, and be appalled at the attitude of some of the Strangelovean characters eg. Fritz Haber, Edward Teller and Robert Oppenheimer. The book is descriptive, well-written and infinitely interesting. It is also incredibly frightening."

Read the rest here.

2 comments so far:

  1. Thomas R. | 28 September 2007

    How did the politicians think about this formerly irrelevant and small group of superbright scientists whose ideas had such an impact? And who lacked most inhibitions to ponder how to kill large numbers of people? Didn't they became nerveous? Didn't they wonder that for each 'von Neumann' poping up in the sci millieu probably several others are out there and what they may do?

  2. PD Smith | 30 September 2007

    I guess that's why they wanted to keep scientists 'on tap, but not on top', to use a cold war phrase... But then you can't control what the scientists working for your enemy are doing, and that's when it gets worrying...

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