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Edward Teller: The Real Dr Strangelove

Peter Goodchild

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ISBN 10: 0297607340 / ISBN 13: 9780297607342
Verlag: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2004, 2004
Gebraucht Hardcover
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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Edward Teller: The Real Dr Strangelove

Verlag: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2004

Erscheinungsdatum: 2004

Einband: Hardcover

Über diesen Titel


The Hungarian emigre Edward Teller spent the best part of the twentieth century at the forefront of shaping national and world defence strategies. Few have had such a profound influence on the shape of the post-war world. He was involved at every stage of the building of the atomic bomb. In the years following the Second World War he was dubbed 'the father of the H-bomb' and assailed as the mastermind of a ruinous arms race - the original Dr Strangelove, his effigy burned by students who branded him a war criminal. In the view of the Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, he was a 'great man' of vast imagination and one of the 'most thoughtful statesmen of science'. In the view of another, Isadore Rabi, he has been 'a danger to all that's important' and 'it would have been a better world without Teller'. Throughout his life he was at the centre of controversy, pursuing causes that drew the whole world deeper into the Cold War. In the process he alienated many of his scientific colleagues while providing the intellectual lead for politicians, the military and Presidents as they shaped Western policy towards the Soviets. Yet Sakharov, the Russian dissident and father of the Soviet H-bomb, declared that Teller had been quite right in his vigorous pursuit of American military power. In his compelling biography Peter Goodchild unravels the complex web of harsh early experiences, character flaws and personal and professional frustrations that lay behind the man Ronald Reagan described as 'one of the bulwarks of American Freedom, a sterling example of what scientific knowledge, enlightened by moral sense, and a dedication to the principles of freedom and justice, can do to help all mankind.'


'The man who did more than anyone in practical terms to bring about the hydrogen bomb was Edward Teller... read Edward Teller by Peter Goodchild for a balanced insight.' ( THE TIMES - T2 (1/3/04) )

'... first class... Goodchild has produced a gripping account of one side of one of the most important periods in the history of humankind. I certainly feel that I understand Edward Teller much better now than I did as a radical student in the 1960s.' (John Gribbin THE SUNDAY TIMES )

'As Peter Goodchild demonstrates in this sensitive and fascinating biography, Teller's danger arose from the fact that he was both a brilliant scientist and a skilled political manipulator - but unfortunately also a man of limited wisdom... The most impressive aspect of this book is its insight into a strange and often troubled man. Goodchild demonstrates that Teller was a sensitive and complex individual...' ( THE SCOTSMAN )

'...fine biography... Goodchild provides us with a first-rate thorough portrait, in which his subject is set in proper context. Yes, Teller was a warmonger, but so were the Soviets. And while he consistently exaggerated the Red threat for his own ends, the Russians scarcely helped.' ( THE OBSERVER )

'It is the great merit of Peter Goodchild's absorbing and fair-minded book that conveys vividly why one might detest Teller and why one might love him. He avoids both demonisation and hagiography... this book is to be recommended to anyone who wants to understand how Teller can be seen both as 'an enemy of humanity... and as ' of the bulwarks of American Freedom'. ( THE SPECTATOR )

'Edward Teller, a very comprehensive and thoroughly researched biography, shows why Teller's career was so controversial... Goodchild's account of the Teller-Oppenheimer clash is particularly interesting... Edward Teller is fascinating reading and will convince many its subject was Dr Strangelove.' ( NEW SCIENTIST )

'Taking a bold and original line [Goodchild] argues that Teller's form of madness was a necessary evil... admirably thorough...' ( NEW STATESMAN )

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