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Graham Connor
Lawrence S. Wittner
Colin Hughes
Guardian Unlimited

Peter Goodchild

The Real Dr Strangelove

Some people see Edward Teller as an evil figure, whereas others see him as a protector of democracy. In Edward Teller: The Real Dr Strangelove Peter Goodchild examines the reasons for this dichotomy. He gives information about Teller's early life, but much of the book deals with the years after the Second World War, when Teller was leading the development of the H-bomb, and when he supported the removal of Oppenheimer's security clearance. There is also information how Teller fared in the growing opposition to all things nuclear in the 1960's and 1970's as well as Teller's support for the SDI project in the 1980's.

This is a well written biography, which shows things from Teller's viewpoint, although not in the sense of trying to support his point of view, rather in the sense of trying to find out what motivated Teller to act as he did. Goodchild has also written about Oppenheimer, and here is showing things from the other side of this well known disagreement. In the epilogue he comments that he kept thinking 'if only'. At 400 pages this is a fairly long book and would most suit those who want to dig into the details of this highly significant participant of the Cold War. info
Hardcover 352 pages  
ISBN: 0297607340
Salesrank: 16624248
Published: 2004 Orion Pub Co
Amazon price $34.92
Marketplace:New from $30.92:Used from $4.50
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Hardcover 352 pages  
ISBN: 0297607340
Salesrank: 2099421
Weight:1.94 lbs
Published: 2004 Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Marketplace:New from £51.22:Used from £2.27
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ISBN: 0297607340
Salesrank: 1350651
Weight:1.94 lbs
Published: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Amazon price CDN$ 80.40
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 64.35:Used from CDN$ 4.64
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Product Description
Many of the scientists involved in the earliest days of the nuclear arms race are either dead or no longer working. At 92, the Hungarian émigré Edward Teller is not only working but still at the forefront in shaping national and world defence strategies. Few men have had such a profound influence on the shape of the post-war worlds. He was involved at every stage of the building of the atomic bomb. In the years following the Second World War he was dubbed ‘the father of the H-bomb’ and was assailed as the mastermind of a ruinous arms race, the original Dr Strangelove, his effigy burned by students who branded him a war criminal. In the view of the Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, he was a ‘great man’ of vast imagination and one of the ‘most thoughtful statesmen of science’. In the view of another, Isadore Rabi, he has been ‘a danger to all that's important’ and ‘it would have been a better world without Teller’. Throughout his life he was at the centre of controversy, pursuing causes that drew the whole world deeper into the Cold War. In the process he alienated many of his scientific colleagues while providing the intellectual lead for politicians, the military and Presidents as they shaped Western policy towards the Soviets. Yet Sakharov, the Russian dissident and father of the Soviet H-bomb, declared that Teller had been quite right in his vigorous pursuit of American military power. In The Real Dr Strangelove, Peter Goodchild unravels the complex web of harsh early experiences, character flaws and personal and professional frustrations that lies behind the man Ronald Reagan described as ‘one of the bulwarks of American Freedom, a sterling example of what scientific knowledge, enlightened by moral sense, and a dedication to the principles of freedom and justice, can do to help all mankind.’