Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Brotherhood of the Bomb

Brotherhood of the Bomb

The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller

Gregg Herken

Henry Holt and Co.



The fascinating story of the men who founded the nuclear age, fully told for the first time

The story of the twentieth century is largely the story of the power of science and technology. Within that story is the incredible tale of the human conflict between Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller-the scientists most responsible for the advent of weapons of mass destruction.
How did science-and its practitioners-enlisted in the service of the state during the Second World War, become a slave to its patron during the Cold War? The story of these three men, builders of the bombs, is fundamentally about loyalty-to country, to science, and to each other-and about the wrenching choices that had to be made when these allegiances came into conflict.

Gregg Herken gives us the behind-the-scenes account based upon a decade of research, interviews, and newly released Freedom of Information Act and Russian documents. Brotherhood of the Bomb is a vital slice of American history told authoritatively-and grippingly-for the first time.

L.A. Times Book Prize - Finalist


Praise for Brotherhood of the Bomb

Brotherhood of the Bomb is fast-paced, deeply researched, and resolves many longtime mysteries. More authoritatively than any previous history, it reveals the unseemly ambitions and personal conflicts among American scientists and government leaders that accelerated the nuclear arms race.” —Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Gregg Herken

Gregg Herken is a curator and historian at the Smithsonian Institution and has taught at Oberlin, Yale, and Caltech. He is the author of The Winning Weapon, Counsels of War, and Cardinal Choices, and received a MacArthur grant for Brotherhood of the Bomb. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Gregg Herken