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Gregg Herken: “Was J. Robert Oppenheimer, ‘Father of the Atomic Bomb,’ a Soviet Spy?”

April 13, 2011 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm  |  


One of the great unresolved controversies of the Cold War is whether American physicist Robert Oppenheimer–the “father of the atomic bomb”–was, in fact, a communist and a spy for the Soviet Union.  Recently-declassified documents–from U.S. and former Soviet sources–make it possible to finally answer that question.

Gregg Herken (Stevenson College with Honors, History BA with Honors, Government with Highest Honors, 1969) is an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of California, and was a Founding Faculty member at UC Merced.  He received a Ph.D. in modern American diplomatic history from Princeton University in 1974, and subsequent taught at Oberlin College, Yale University, and Caltech.  From 1988-2003, Herken was a senior Historian and Curator, as well as the chairman of the Department of Space History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.  He is the author of four books, The Winning Weapon:  The Atomic Bomb in the Cold War (Knopf, 1981; Princeton, 1988), Counsels of War (Knopf, 1985; Oxford, 1986), Cardinal Choices:  Presidential Science Advising from the Atomic Bomb to SDI (Oxford, 1992; Stanford, 1999), and Brotherhood of the Bomb: The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller (Henry Holt, 2002; Holt, 2003), which was a finalist for the 2003 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History.

Co-sponsored by The Institute for Humanities Research and The Department of History.  Staff support provided by the Institute for Humanities Research.


April 13, 2011
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States + Google Map