The title of Ray Monk’s biography of Robert Oppenheimer plays on several ‘centres’: the entrancing interior of the atom wherein physicists found the secrets of nuclear energy; the institutional centres of American intellectual life that served as Oppenheimer’s professional milieu; the seductive hubs of political power to which he felt a fatal attraction; his own inner life, full of strange shadows and paradoxes.
Father of the Bomb
Inside the Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer
by Ray Monk
Jonathan Cape, $65 hb, 832 pp, 9780224062626
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