Monday, January 26, 2009

Biography of Robert Oppenheimer on PBS Tonight

PBS' American Experience show will air a two-hour biography tonight of Robert Oppenheimer, "Father of the Atomic Bomb."

Robert Oppenheimer's life and legacy are inextricably linked to America's most famous top-secret initiative -- the Manhattan Project. But after World War II, this brilliant and intense scientist, tasked with the development of the atomic bomb and widely considered one of the most important minds of the twentieth century, fell from the innermost circles of American scientific policy. At the height of the Red Scare, the veil of suspicion fell over J. Robert Oppenheimer. He was accused of having communist sympathies and was pressed to explain his relationships with known communists.

This biography will present a complex and revealing portrait of one of the most influential American scientists. Interweaving interviews with family members, scholars and colleagues with dramatic recreations featuring Academy Award-nominated actor David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck, and The Bourne Ultimatum), this film follows J. Robert Oppenheimer on a fascinating arc from the heady world of international physics to the top-secret Manhattan Project, and finally to the dark days of the Red Scare and McCarthyism.
Click here for tonight's show times in your local area.

2 comments:

Joseph Somsel said...

Oppenheimer was an interesting fellow, no doubt. His wife was indeed a member of the Communist Party USA.

However, the REALLY interesting character from the Manhattan Project was the man in charge, General Leslie Groves. Google his picture and you'll see the kind of leader we need in nuclear power today. This is the man who built the Pentagon in 16 months.

After you see Groves' portrait, google the new Secretary of Energy. Wonder what one can read into a face?

nuqlar said...

I watched the show but found it boring. Oppenheimer was portrayed as a man with deep psychological issues. How a man with such poor social skills was able to succeed amazes me. I don't think a similar person could accomplish the same thing today.