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Doomsday men : the real Dr. Strangelove and the dream of the superweapon

Author: Peter D Smith
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2007.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st U.S. edView all editions and formats
Summary:
This is the untold story of the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. In 1950, Hungarian-born scientist Leo Szilard made a dramatic announcement on American radio: science was on the verge of creating a doomsday bomb, a huge cobalt-clad H-bomb that would pollute the atmosphere with radioactivity and end all life on earth. For the first time in history, mankind had within his grasp a truly godlike power, the ability  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Leo Szilard; Enrico Fermi; Enrico Fermi; Leo Szilard
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Peter D Smith
ISBN: 9780312373979 031237397X
OCLC Number: 141386436
Description: xxii, 552 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: I. The Dream. Black day. Gift of destruction. Plutonium collector. Nature's secrets. --
II. The Chemist's war. Prospero of poisons. Man who ended war. Einstein's open sesame. --
III. The Dark heart of matter. Capital of physics. Inventor of all things. Faust and the physicists. Eureka! Wings over Europe. --
IV. The Battle of the laboratories. 'Power beyond the dream of a madman'. Conceived in fear. Devil's work. Destroyer of worlds. --
V. The End of dreams. Doomsday decade. Hell bomb. Khrushchev's monsters. Strangeloves. --
Epilogue. 'Tragedy of mankind'.
Responsibility: P.D. Smith.
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Abstract:

This is the untold story of the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. In 1950, Hungarian-born scientist Leo Szilard made a dramatic announcement on American radio: science was on the verge of creating a doomsday bomb, a huge cobalt-clad H-bomb that would pollute the atmosphere with radioactivity and end all life on earth. For the first time in history, mankind had within his grasp a truly godlike power, the ability to destroy life itself. The shockwave from this statement reverberated across the following decade and beyond--for many people there was now little to distinguish real scientists from that "fictional master of megadeath," Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. Indeed, as science historian Smith shows, the dream of the superweapon to end all war begins in popular culture--iconic films and fictions, from H.G. Wells forward--and the scientists responsible for these terrible weapons grew up in a culture dreaming of superweapons and Wellsian utopias.--From publisher description.

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