MEN AND DECISIONS by Lewis L. Strauss


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Major General Leslie Groves, who headed the Manhattan Project from 1942 to 1946, has just published his memoirs of the venture (Now It Can Be Told, Harper, p. 42). Two members of the Atomic Energy Commission staff, R. G. Hewlett and O. E. Anderson, have just published a volume covering the pre-history and founding of the A. E. C. (The New World. 1939-46, Penn State Univ. Press, 1962). On the heels of these comes the free-swinging autobiography of Lewis Strauss, the most controversial figure ever to head the A. E. C. Strauss, a man with a sentimental predilection for historical souvenirs, is determined to vindicate himself after the humiliation of non-confirmation by the Senate of his final appointment by President Eisenhower. Even when immersed in the best of his material -- the history of nuclear science, the Dixon-Yates wrangle, and profiles of Herbert Hoover (they have been friends since Strauss was 17), James Forrestal, and Drs. Fermi, von Neumann, and Lawrence -- Strauss succumbs to a compulsion to pleas his own cause. He seems to have nothing new to offer on his position in relation to T.V.A., David Lilienthal or Dr. Robert Oppenheimer. He goes as far back as his part in l'affaire Nansen Passport, and defends the same image of a humble, public-spirited servant of good causes right up to his last hour of government service. Both his severe critics and his staunch admirers will find kernels of fascinating historical data here: Strauss' diary notations are apparently voluminous, and he has combed them to establish all possible points in his favor. Less could hardly have been expected.

Pub Date: July 6th, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday