On February 18, 1967, the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer came to an end. Its history, probed with such agonizing detail in the 1954 AEC Security Board Hearings, dramatizes the dilemma of the American scientist in the twentieth century.
To appreciate this history, we must have a view of Oppenheimer (or Opje, as he was called) before World War II, in those days before the scientists knew sin. There is no disagreement among the many observers: Opje was a brilliant analytical thinker, an intellectual with a striking variety of interests, and a natural leader of men. “. . . my admiration for his intelligence,” writes Haakon Chevalier, “his judgment, and his character had gradually led me to the conviction that a high ...
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