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American Prometheus

The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

«A riveting account of one of history's most essential and paradoxical figures.»

Christopher Nolan
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Atlantic Books
20 x 13 cm


«A riveting account of one of history's most essential and paradoxical figures.»

Christopher Nolan

«Reads like a thriller, gripping and terrifying by turns... No more absorbing biography will, I predict, come out this year, nor, given the dangers we face, a more important one.»

John Carey, Sunday Times

«I hate to say it, but, if you zip through all six hundred pages of the book before seeing the film, you'll enjoy the ride more.»

Anthony Lane, New Yorker

«Fascinating... Enthralling... All previous works on the topic are, in the nicest possible sense, blown out of the sky by a book which is, in both the proper and metaphorical meanings, monumental.»

Mark Lawson, Esquire

«No previous biography has... matched the power, range and lucidity of Martin Sherwin and Kai Bird's Life... Its combination of meticulous scholarship and felicitous prose grasps the drama of Oppenheimer's life in all its riveting complexity. »

Sunday Telegraph

«A giant among biographies, a life story that at times reads like a thriller but which is also deeply authoritative and persuasively informative.... Magisterial.»


«This is a magisterial biography: a masterpiece that has taken decades to put together.»

Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

«A tremendous work of scholarship.»

Financial Times

«Dazzling... Rich in incident and enigma... It wears its scholarship lightly and whisks the reader through the story at thriller-like pace.»

New Statesman

«Magisterial... There have been many books on Oppenheimer... but American Prometheus is the first to attempt to explore more than a single facet... It is a portrait of the man, the times, the science, and the politics... It is a vaulting ambition, and it is amply rewarded.»

Judith Flanders, Spectator

«The definitive biography... Oppenheimer's life doesn't influence us. It haunts us.»


«A work of voluminous scholarship and lucid insight, unifying its multifaceted portrait with a keen grasp of Oppenheimer's essential nature... It succeeds in deeply fathoming his most damaging, self-contradictory behavior.»

New York Times

«A masterful account of Oppenheimer's rise and fall, set in the context of the turbulent decades of America's own transformation. It is a tour de force

Los Angeles Times Book Review

«There have been numerous books about Oppenheimer but they can't touch this extraordinary book's impressive breadth and scope.»

Miami Herald

«The first biography to give full due to Oppenheimer's extraordinary complexity... Stands as an Everest among the mountains of books on the bomb project and Oppenheimer, and is an achievement not likely to be surpassed or equaled

Boston Globe

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