At the Heart of the Bomb: The Dangerous Allure of Weapons Work

Debra Rosenthal, Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $18.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-201-19794-5
To the scientists and engineers who design nuclear weapons at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, comfortable routine has replaced Promethean purpose. Many of these technicians, according to Rosenthal, see themselves as working not on bombs, but rather on a tiny, technically interesting facet of a larger project. One scientist interviewed compares the neutron bomb to a rifle and implies that there is no ethical distinction between them. Rosenthal, political scientist at the University of New Mexico, observes that the weapons designers' neutral, disengaged attitude spills over into their marriages and daily lives; their vaunted scientific objectivity leads to a muddle when they consider the political and moral significance of their work. One of the most chilling books ever written about the doomsday machine that is the nuclear arms race, this field report is a dazzling, eerie and gruesome portrayal of life on the edge of Armageddon. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Paperback - 978-0-201-56752-6
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