Reviews for J. Robert Oppenheimer : The Brain Behind the Bomb

Booklist Reviews 2007 July #1
The brilliant physicist who led the nuclear research at Los Alamos and the making of the atomic bomb is the subject of this compelling biography in the new Inventors Who Changed the World series. The science of the secret project is exciting, including how the new theory of quantum mechanics turned classical Newtonian physics upside down, and throughout the book, the clear, spacious design includes lots of images from approved Web sites for readers who want to do research on How Atoms Work, How Much Uranium Is Needed to Make a Bomb, and much more. The social and political issues are just as intense: the secret community that developed the bomb; the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and then, in the 1950s, the removal of Oppenheimer's security clearance and accusations that he was a Communist. Includes both black-and-white and color photos, chapter notes, bibliography, activities, and suggested Web sites. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
This series provides a basic overview of each subject's life and career, including successes as well as mistakes and controversies. The series's design features well-reproduced archival photos and distracting, cluttered screen shots. Some less motivated readers will appreciate the publisher's enhanced website. Reading list, timeline. Glos., ind. [Review covers these Inventors Who Changed the World titles: Thomas Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Henry Ford.] Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2007 November

Gr 6-10 --This biography shows both the complexity of the man and the importance of his work as the leader of a team of scientists who created the atom bomb. Scherer and Fletcher emphasize Oppenheimer's concerns that these bombs would destroy civilization, stating, "it is difficult…to find anything positive about the invention, or development, of the atomic bomb." Mentioning that the Japanese were not warned, and that the U.S. was "impatient for a response," the authors imply that the Japanese were attacked a second time because they were confused by Hiroshima. They emphasize the human cost, stating that 95 percent of those who died were civilians. The featured Internet sources provide balance in the form of additional perspectives, including many primary documents. They offer reports, photos, and films featuring Oppenheimer and information concerning the atom bomb. Four activities explore the atom and the impact of a bomb on a city and an individual. This book is a good choice for libraries.--Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library

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