THE SWIFT YEARS: The Robert Oppenheimer Story by Peter Michelmore

THE SWIFT YEARS: The Robert Oppenheimer Story

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Mr. Michelmore wrote an appreciative biography of Einstein a few years ago. This book in no sense attempts to compete with Nuel Pharr Davis' Lawrence and Oppenheimer (1968) or Philip M. Stern's The Oppenheimer Case (later in this issue) both dealing much more intensively with particular phases of his career. It is based on both personal materials and talks with the closest members of Oppenheimer's family and is by far the easiest portrait of the man that has appeared. Mr. Michelmore sees him somewhat differently than does Stern: the lonely boy who spent ""his life inside a book"" grows up to be a ""hesitant hero (with) a Corsican conviction of melancholy as a state of grace."" Much of the opacity which surrounded the whole star chamber proceedings of the hearing (including Oppenheimer's own conduct) is certainly not as sharply examined or stressed here. And his remark at the sorry end--""I never expect to get over it""--is softened by a few of the brighter moments of the last phase. Accessible to readers of all kinds and ages who may find the more exhaustive works above intimidating.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1969
Publisher: Dodd, Mead