~BOOK ♰ Doomsday Men: The Real Dr. Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon ☢ PDF or E-pub free

~BOOK ♨ Doomsday Men: The Real Dr. Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon ☺ This is the gripping, untold story of the doomsday bomb the ultimate weapon of mass destruction In , Hungarian born scientist Leo Szilard made a dramatic announcement on American radio science was on the verge of creating a doomsday bomb For the first time in history, mankind realized that he had within his grasp a truly God like power, the ability to destroy life itself The shockwave from this statement reverberated across the following decade and beyondIf detonated, Szilard s doomsday device a huge cobalt clad H bomb would pollute the atmosphere with radioactivity and end all life on earth The scientific creators of such apocalyptic weapons had transformed the laws of nature into instruments of mass destruction and for many people in the Cold War there was little to distinguish real scientists from that fictional master of megadeath, Stanley Kubrick s Dr Strangelove Indeed, as PD Smith s chilling account shows, the dream of the superweapon begins in popular culture This is a story that cannot be told without the iconic films and fictions that portray our deadly fascination with superweapons, from HG Wells The War of the Worlds to Nevil Shute s On the Beach and Kubrick s Dr Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BombAlthough scientists admitted it was possible to build the cobalt bomb, no superpower would admit to having created one However, it remained a terrifying possibility, striking fear into the hearts of people around the world The story of the cobalt bomb is an unwritten chapter of the Cold War, but now PD Smith reveals the personalities behind this feared technology and shows how the scientists responsible for the twentieth century s most terrible weapons grew up in a culture dreaming of superweapons and Wellsian utopias He argues that, in the end, the doomsday machine became the ultimate symbol of humanity s deepest fears about the science of destruction Take a close look at the beginning of the modern Atomic Age P.D Smith makes it real clear and very easy to understand He gives the reader a step by step, yet interesting look at the American atomic project as it started, before the Manhattan Project, and further into it and past into the Cold War.At the same time he documents the Soviet Union s project and the race to have the biggest and worst bomb in the quest for mutual destruction in the years of the Cold War when the Atomic Clock was at Take a close look at the beginning of the modern Atomic Age P.D Smith makes it real clear and very easy to understand He gives the reader a step by step, yet interesting look at the American atomic project as it started, before the Manhattan Project, and further into it and past into the Cold War.At the same time he documents the Soviet Union s project and the race to have the biggest and worst bomb in the quest for mutual destruction in the years of the Cold War when the Atomic Clock was at one point set at 2 minutes to mid night or 2 minutes to destruction I ve read this book a couple of times and each time I get a clear understanding of this time period though I grew up during the late 50 s and 60 s and remember much of the politics of the period.Truly by reading just the first few chapters the reader will understand where the writer of Dr Strangelove garnered his material With students in the average class room today NOT being taught history I would suggest this as a must read for the average college student.A definite 5 stars for non fiction.Sultry Looking for a biography of Leo Szilard, I picked this up instead With its unique emphasis on the effect of popular writing and, subsequently, movies, on the development of weapons of mass destruction, this book isof a tale of horror than a biography of Leo Szilard, the man who discovered the principle of the atom bomb and then spent much of his life trying to prevent atomic weapons from being deployed, tested, or even developed.Popular literature inspired and predicted the worst weapons o Looking for a biography of Leo Szilard, I picked this up instead With its unique emphasis on the effect of popular writing and, subsequently, movies, on the development of weapons of mass destruction, this book isof a tale of horror than a biography of Leo Szilard, the man who discovered the principle of the atom bomb and then spent much of his life trying to prevent atomic weapons from being deployed, tested, or even developed.Popular literature inspired and predicted the worst weapons of mass destruction the world has ever known Politicians as well as scientists were willing to assume God like powers and responsibilities because they felt competent to evaluate situations and lives and qualified to destroy for a higher purpose Much of this popular literature showed the scientist as savior of the world, and even if the weapons led to mass annihilation, the very horror would teach mankind not to wage war any All of these ideas are based on a very high opinion of elite human decision making and morality combined with a very low respect for human life some humans are infallible gods and others are totally expendable if the gods determine that is best Interwoven with this theme is the story of Szilard, the bomb, and the history of modern physics Szilard was a brilliant thinker and the first to envision the mechanism of the atomic bomb Though he struggled for peace and did not believe in the vision of scientist as savior if said scientist createdweapons, his life showed the conflict of the ideas of scientist savior and pacifism He helped build the bomb to ensure that the Nazis would not get it first and be able to destroy the world, but as soon as it became evident that they would not be able to produce a bomb, he urged his colleagues to petition against using the bomb or at least to warn the world before using it by giving a public demonstration.Yes, we learn about Szilard, his background Hungarian Jew, a life long fugitive with a suitcase always packed , his way of doing physics hands off, solve a few problems, move on to the next issue , and his beliefs about science and society the scientist can be a savior and needs to be, at first by inventing weapons to end all wars, later by discouraging their use by disseminating knowledge about their lethal effects We also learn about many other scientists, especially those involved in weapons research, from the inventor of chemical warfare and the developer of missiles, to the Japanese research of biological warfare And we learn about the American Allied approach to war criminals in exchange for their expertise and data, research generating criminals were not prosecuted Most horrifyingly, we learn of the evolution of warfare, also among the Allies, from an endeavor between soldiers to an attack on all civilians as in the carefully planned firestorm bombings of German and Japanese cities and the atomic bomb In fact, I learned a lot I had not wanted to know.Thoughts that I had after readingabout World War 2, especially some of the horrors perpetuated by the Allies The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God Vengeance is mine Love your enemies.You see, I had always thought that the Allies had acted with restraint and conscience, even in the matter of the atomic bomb, although I was never comfortable with that But now I read about the firestorm bombings of Hamburg, Dresden, and Tokyo, designed to kill civilians en masse The bomb really was just an extension of that And the idea that all along some planned the bomb for Japan, to intimidate the Soviet Union, was startling I had always thought, like the physicists who were involved, that the purpose was to get the bomb before the Nazis got it and used it But again we see several things about people If one does not act in love, things get out of hand very quickly People are inherently attracted to evil, but they almost always justify it as being right There s usually a back story Sometimes people know about it other times it is kept well concealed either purposefully, or inadvertently as Blink by Malcolm Gladwell implies Even in science and in religion, novel or controversial ideas are not usually promoted or opposed for the stated reason but for other ones McGrath discusses this at length in Science and Religion.But let s get back to the book itself Really, Doomsday Men isabout the incredible influence of popular literature and film than about the history of physics And yet, it shows the motivation behind a good deal of both physics and politics, demonstrating that the power of popular culture is frightening If those who fire the imaginations of our scientists, policy makers, and powerful people are evil, our society will go wrong.Nowadays, Hollywood, the media, and the internet have such power, shaping perhaps even defining society s attitudes to race, values, marriage, mental illness, violence, the value of life, and Christianity.Imagine, on the other hand, a society where the Word of God is central and has such power in people s lives Perhaps we Christians have a lot to learn about spreading the word effectively, though there already are many talented writers, thinkers, and film makers who serve valiantly And yet, isn t it simple, faithful preaching and simple, faithful witness that we Christians are, in general, called to No matter what the answer to that question would be, it is imperative that we absorb our Bibles, always learning to liveclosely to our Lord, because who we are and how we think will always determine our actions Further, let us compare our current fear levels with those of half a century ago, when everyone lived in terror of a nuclear or biological attack God gave the world relief from such fears and we Christians forgot to use the time wisely to live intentionally for him in society Now we are reaping the consequences, but we still have time to act.Again, the solution is to love the Lord our God with all our being and those around us as ourselves.And the end of the matter is simple God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble and, eventually, he will make wars to cease to the ends of the earth Psalm 46 PD Smith s Doomsday Men is a mix of science fiction analysis and all too real history The book covers the fixation on the dream of the ultimate weapon, which evolves from chemical weapons to a true doomsday system put in place by the Soviets On both the side of scientists and writers there is the great fear of what thesepowerful weapons might mean for political power and for society What drives them is the dream of what they might do From Nobel with his dynamite on, the dream has been PD Smith s Doomsday Men is a mix of science fiction analysis and all too real history The book covers the fixation on the dream of the ultimate weapon, which evolves from chemical weapons to a true doomsday system put in place by the Soviets On both the side of scientists and writers there is the great fear of what thesepowerful weapons might mean for political power and for society What drives them is the dream of what they might do From Nobel with his dynamite on, the dream has been that weapons might become so powerful as to prevent war altogether.On apractical front, the dream has been that powerful weapons will drastically shorten war and thereby lessen its effects The fixation on technical solutions to these problems tend to come up short as demonstrated by chemical weapon which were initially overpowering but were quickly countered The technologists tend to forget that war is a competition of measure and countermeasure and all the new weapons tend to do is to make it worse.The book is an excellent introduction to the subject of weapons for non specialists, but specialists will benefit from the seeing the interplay between science fiction and the development and understanding of what these weapons can do In Doomsday Men The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon, British historian of science P.D Smith masterfully chronicles the literary antecedents and cultural repercussions of the development of nuclear armaments It offers a marvelous resource for understanding the issues and personalities underlying Kubrick s masterpiece and other creative interpretations of the Cold War From pulp science fiction stories to Godzilla s theatrical invasions, it is a veritable lexicon of atomic In Doomsday Men The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon, British historian of science P.D Smith masterfully chronicles the literary antecedents and cultural repercussions of the development of nuclear armaments It offers a marvelous resource for understanding the issues and personalities underlying Kubrick s masterpiece and other creative interpretations of the Cold War From pulp science fiction stories to Godzilla s theatrical invasions, it is a veritable lexicon of atomic age culture There is delightful humor throughout the volume, mainly focused on the idiosyncrasies of Szilard and the some of the other key players With the Cold War fading into history, Doomsday Men offers a valuable reminder of the period s fears and foibles It provides an outstanding guide to a pivotal era when humanity first faced the terrifying prospect of annihilation by its own hand In Doomsday Men The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon, British historian of science P.D Smith masterfully chronicles the literary antecedents and cultural repercussions of the development of nuclear armaments It offers a marvelous resource for understanding the issues and personalities underlying Kubrick s masterpiece and other creative interpretations of the Cold War From pulp science fiction stories to Godzilla s theatrical invasions, it is a veritable lexicon of atomic In Doomsday Men The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon, British historian of science P.D Smith masterfully chronicles the literary antecedents and cultural repercussions of the development of nuclear armaments It offers a marvelous resource for understanding the issues and personalities underlying Kubrick s masterpiece and other creative interpretations of the Cold War From pulp science fiction stories to Godzilla s theatrical invasions, it is a veritable lexicon of atomic age culture There is delightful humor throughout the volume, mainly focused on the idiosyncrasies of Szilard and the some of the other key players With the Cold War fading into history, Doomsday Men offers a valuable reminder of the period s fears and foibles It provides an outstanding guide to a pivotal era when humanity first faced the terrifying prospect of annihilation by its own hand This book provides an in depth look at the atomic era in American culture It examines scientific and public perception over the years by referencing literature and film Although it is not always the most engaging read sci fi readers will love it s coverage of sci fi history , it provides a historical viewpoint not covered in Richard Rhodes works on this subject Of special enjoyment is the background and analysis of Stanley Kubrick s hit Dr Strangelove Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learne This book provides an in depth look at the atomic era in American culture It examines scientific and public perception over the years by referencing literature and film Although it is not always the most engaging read sci fi readers will love it s coverage of sci fi history , it provides a historical viewpoint not covered in Richard Rhodes works on this subject Of special enjoyment is the background and analysis of Stanley Kubrick s hit Dr Strangelove Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb long one of my favorite movies recently got into a conversation with Matt about Doomsday stemming from Oppenheimer s Now I am become death quote and we agreed it was rather lame my word not his how little i knew about the atomic bomb, considering my bachelor s was Russian Studies he recommended this tome to mend my ways. A unique and well researched work My interest was on the technical side of things initially, but Smith s treatment of the Cold War culture soon took over my reason for completing this excellent treatise on the futility of war in the latter half of the 20th century and beyond I realize a lot of my favorite books and films are covered in this book as being iconic representations of the cultural remnants of this period Truly a fascinating addition to any library Interesting juxtaposition of historical science against the backdrop of science fiction and movies of the same time periods Author makes some interesting observations where science fiction writers often preceded actual scientific discoveries or inventions Gave me a several books to add to my reading list.