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Fb2 Edward Teller: The Real Dr. Strangelove ePub

by Peter Goodchild

Category: Physics
Subcategory: Science books
Author: Peter Goodchild
ISBN: 0674016696
ISBN13: 978-0674016699
Language: English
Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1st edition (October 29, 2004)
Pages: 512
Fb2 eBook: 1547 kb
ePub eBook: 1963 kb
Digital formats: lrf lrf txt lit

Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known simply as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. Production took place in the United Kingdom.

One Nobel Prize-winning physicist called Edward Teller, "A great man of. .

One Nobel Prize-winning physicist called Edward Teller, "A great man of vast imagination. most thoughtful statesmen of science. Goodchild's biography draws on interviews with more than fifty of Teller's colleagues and friends. Their voices echo through the book, expressing admiration and contempt, affection and hatred, as we observe Teller's involvement in every stage of building the atomic bomb, and his subsequent pursuit of causes that drew the world deeper into the Cold War-alienating many of his scientific colleagues even as he provided the intellectual lead for politicians, the military, and presidents as they shaped Western policy.

Teller, Edward, 1908-2003, Physicists - United States - Biography, Atomic bomb - United States - History. Harvard University Press. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Oliver Wendell Holmes Library. Uploaded by station16. cebu on October 4, 2019.

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Some 25 years ago, Peter Goodchild was responsible for the BBC drama series Oppenheimer, about the . Now Goodchild has produced a remarkable biography of Teller, sometimes said to be the model for Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove

Some 25 years ago, Peter Goodchild was responsible for the BBC drama series Oppenheimer, about the head of the Manhattan Project, Robert Oppenheimer, and the extraordinary effort to produce the first atomic bombs. One other key figure of the early nuclear age, Edward Teller, was a significant character. Now Goodchild has produced a remarkable biography of Teller, sometimes said to be the model for Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove. Teller was born in Hungary, moved to the US in the 1930s, proved himself a brilliant physical chemist, and went on to be a big player in the creation of the first A-bomb.

Despite pulling some punches, Peter Goodchild's new biography presents a compelling portrait of Edward Teller, the Darth .

Despite pulling some punches, Peter Goodchild's new biography presents a compelling portrait of Edward Teller, the Darth Vader figure behind the H bomb. Thus Peter Seller's sieg-heiling Dr Strangelove in Kubrick's cinematic satire on nuclear war may have superficial similarities with von Braun, but is really based on Teller's manic obsessiveness, says Peter Goodchild. In fact, a closer cinematic parallel probably lies with Darth Vader, a man of initial liberal sensibilities who is seduced by the Dark Side. The question is: for what reason? Why did the once-urbane Teller end up so hawkish and alienated?

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The Real Dr. Strangelove is part of . Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

Edward Teller by Peter Goodchild The Real Dr. Strangelove. Peter Goodchild is an award-winning television producer and the former head of both Science and Features and Drama at the BBC. His production of Oppenheimer won a British Academy Award and spawned an acclaimed biography.

One Nobel Prize-winning physicist called Edward Teller, "A great man of vast imagination...[one of the] most thoughtful statesmen of science." Another called him, "A danger to all that is important...It would have been a better world without [him]." That both opinions about Teller were commonly held and equally true is one of the enduring mysteries about the man dubbed "the father of the H-bomb." In the story of Teller's life and career, told here in greater depth and detail than ever before, Peter Goodchild unravels the complex web of harsh early experiences, character flaws, and personal and professional frustrations that lay behind the paradox of "the real Dr. Strangelove."

Goodchild's biography draws on interviews with more than fifty of Teller's colleagues and friends. Their voices echo through the book, expressing admiration and contempt, affection and hatred, as we observe Teller's involvement in every stage of building the atomic bomb, and his subsequent pursuit of causes that drew the world deeper into the Cold War--alienating many of his scientific colleagues even as he provided the intellectual lead for politicians, the military, and presidents as they shaped Western policy. Goodchild interviewed Teller himself at the end of his life, and what emerges from this interview, as well as from Teller's Memoirs and recently unearthed correspondence, is a clearer view of the contradictions and controversies that riddled the man's life. Most of all, though, this absorbing biography rescues Edward Teller from the caricatures that have served to describe him until now. In their place, Goodchild shows us one of the most powerful scientists of the twentieth century in all his enigmatic humanity.

Comments to eBook Edward Teller: The Real Dr. Strangelove
BroWelm
I will be brief as others have written very good reviews. The authors start off well connecting with those interested in Edward Teller or the "Atomic Era coming of Age". The book does justice and provides insight until the later third, begining with the Oppenheimer security issues. From there it declines into an obsession with political correctness....conservatives are right-wing and liberals have no slur attached to them. The book ends with less and less of Teller as the object but more as a useful tool for the authors spin on history.
Terr
Whether or not Edward Teller was the model for Dr. Strangelove in the movie of the same name [my pick for #1 movie ever], he was still one of the most controversial and enigmatic scientists of the 20th Century. Peter Goodchild does an excellent job laying out Dr. Teller's life in the book Edward Teller, The Real Dr. Strangelove. Having read Goodchild's J. Robert Oppenheimer: Shatterer Of Worlds while still in college [and having watched the BBC show by Goodchild on PBS with my Dad - a favorite memory], I trusted that Goodchild would write a book that was neither hagiography nor hatchet job, and Edward Teller did not disappoint. Goodchild gives us Teller's life as a witty and brilliant scientist [which I have personal experience with - I had the good fortune of hearing Dr. Teller speak] and as a troubled and extremely political human being. Being a fan of Oppenheimer and a partisan against the Star Wars nuclear defense, I expected that the book would support, and perhaps intensify, my negative feelings towards Teller, but reading the book has made me more sympathetic towards Teller the human being [while still vehemently disagreeing with his treatment of Oppenheimer and his support of the scientifically ridiculous Star Wars plan]. Their may be some people that are purely heroic or villainous, but most people are like J. Robert Oppenheimer or Edward Teller, flawed human beings. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in science and scientists, the ethical conflicts of certain kinds of scientific research, biography, the bomb, and the history of the 20th Century. An endnote: when I was in the 1st and 2nd grades in Berkeley, California, I lived on Scenic Avenue and went to Hillside Elementary School. One of my routes to or from school took me along Hawthorne Terrace past Dr. Teller's house. I was a precocious kid and knew the "Father of the H-Bomb" lived in my neighborhood. He drove a beat-up old car, which confirms Teller's frugality as reported by Goodchild.
Urreur
This biography of Edward Teller, which I found to be disappointing, comes to us from Peter Goodchild, a documentary maker for the BBC.

After reading this book, I didn't feel that I had came to know Edward Teller, who was a very interesting, if controversial, man. I had learned a little about his origins, his academic achievements, his projects, and the controversies in which he was embroiled, but only rarely did I feel that Goodchild had really gotten to the bottom of what had happened. This book reads more like a Life magazine article or a description of a new wondersoap than like a work of history.

I disliked that Goodchild makes interesting points, but then doesn't provide sources to support them. An example: Goodchild quotes an American soldier to the effect that the US military knew and tolerated that top secret information about the work at Los Alamos was being flown to the Soviet Union by the planeload, and names the air field where this is said to have happened. This is a spectacular allegation, if true. Unfortunately the sources he offers to substantiate this claim were a Soviet code clerk who worked at the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, and an American soldier who sold his story at the height of the Red Scare. Both wrote books that needed spectacular stories to sell well. Neither the Venona decrypts nor the Mitrokhin archive, both of which have provided us with a good understanding of how the Soviets exported technology from Los Alamos allude to these clandestine flights. This is not to claim with certainty that these flights never happened, but rather to say that I feel that by not explaining why these claims didn't become common knowledge, Goodchild leaves his readers confused. Was there no FOIA or other source to substantiate these spectacular claims?

Teller was involved in Operation Chariot, a project to use H-bombs to dig a harbor that nobody wanted on Alaska's ice-bound northern coast. In the end the opposition of the indigenous population led to the operation being cancelled. The entire episode, which I think raises many questions about Teller's psychology and judgment, is more or less described in the sterile prose otherwise used to describe how to program a video recording device. I was also quite disappointed by his treatment of J. Robert Oppenheimer, about whom Goodchild makes so many subtle and sometimes unfair digs that his book seems to be more of a political tract than a serious biography.

As someone very interested by the era and its scientists, I was rather surprised that he omits John von Neuman from his "suspects list" of possible inspirations for Dr. Strangelove. There is a strong case for this: like Strangelove, von Neuman was wheelchair-bound, spoke German as a native speaker, consulted for the Rand Corporation, was an authority on game theory, and at times advocated a preemptive war against the Soviet Union.

A further annoyance is that Goodchild doesn't include footnotes, but rather has quotes for some sources at the back of the book. This is infuriating, as some of his ideas are interesting, and it is only when you flip to the back of the book that you learn whether this is or isn't one of the ideas for which he provides corroboration. This is one of the few books I have ever read that doesn't have a single positive review of itself on its back cover. To end this review on a positive note, it is one of the few biographies of Dr. Teller, so you may have to read it for what information it offers, and perhaps to use it as a doorstop. I anxiously await a book that does justice to Edward Teller's genius, life, and times.
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