> Skip to content

A story of discovery, secrecy, impossible choices and unimaginable destruction: Robert Oppenheimer, his life and the first atomic bomb.

J. Robert Oppenheimer is among the most contentious and important figures of the twentieth century. As head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, he oversaw the successful effort to beat the Nazis to develop the first atomic bomb – a breakthrough which was to have eternal ramifications for mankind, and made Oppenheimer the 'father of the Bomb'.

But his was not a simple story of assimilation, scientific success and world fame. A complicated and fragile personality, the implications of the discoveries at Los Alamos were to weigh heavily upon him. Having formed suspicious connections in the 1930s, in the wake of the Allied victory in World War Two, Oppenheimer’s attempts to resist the escalation of the Cold War arms race would lead many to question his loyalties – and set him on a collision course with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunters.

Reviews

An extraordinarily rich biography, superbly researched and written with impressive clarity.

The Times

You don't need to know your quantum physics to be gripped by Monk's doorstop study of the momentous life of J Robert Oppenheimer… Monk serves his subject well by sparing us neither the worst nor the best in him.

Ed Caesar, Sunday Times

Superlative.

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Illuminating.

Nature

[A] fine biography... Oppenheimer has already been served well by biographers. However, Monk here takes the scholarship to a new level.

BBC History Magazine

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099433538

    November 1, 2013

    Vintage

    832 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781448162253

    November 15, 2012

    Vintage Digital

    832 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks