On April 12, 1954, the nation was astonished to learn that J. Robert Oppenheimer was facing charges of violating national security. Could the director of the Manhattan Project, the visionary who led the effort to build the atom bomb, really be a traitor? In this riveting book, bestselling author Priscilla J. McMillan draws on newly declassified U.S. government documents and materials from Russia, as well as in-depth interviews, to expose for the first time the conspiracy that destroyed one of America’s most illustrious scientists.
McMillan recreates the fraught years from 1949 to 1955 when Oppenheimer and a group of liberal scientists tried to head off the cabal of hard-line air force officials, anti-Communist politicians, and rival scientists, including physicist Edward Teller, who were trying to seize control of U.S. policy and build ever more deadly nuclear weapons. Retelling the story of Oppenheimer’s trial, which took place in utmost secrecy, she describes how the government made up its own rules and violated many protections of the rule of law. She also argues that the effort to discredit Oppenheimer, occurring at the height of the McCarthy era and sanctioned by a misinformed President Eisenhower, was a watershed in the Cold War, poisoning American politics for decades and creating dangers that haunt us today.
A chilling tale of McCarthy-era machinations, this groundbreaking page-turner rewrites the history of the Cold War.
Sign up for more information on JHUP Books