cover image Klaus Fuchs: The Man Who Stole the Atom Bomb

Klaus Fuchs: The Man Who Stole the Atom Bomb

Norman Moss / Author St. Martin's Press $0 (216p) ISBN 978-0-3

Robert Chadwell Williams's Klaus Fuchs, Atom Spy (Nonfiction Forecasts, Sept. 25) concentrates largely on Fuchs as traitor and on the failure of Allied security to tab him early on. Moss's book, on the other hand, is primarily a psychological study which comes closer to capturing the elusive character of the man than have other books. His family background is probed at length, illuminatingly. The book at hand is not a sympathetic portrayal, but it does make clear that Fuchs was not motivated by greed or ambition, that in a certain sense he was selfless, and that he had misgivings about his betrayal of atomic secrets to the Russians. Moss speculates boldly on Fuchs's unconscious conflict over divided loyalties and the emergence of a troubled conscience during his final months at the British Atomic Research Establishment at Harwell. Although the evidence for such speculation is not rich, the argument is intriguingly plausible. Moss is the author of Men Who Play God: The Story of the Hydrogen Bomb. Photos. (November 2)