Principles of American Nuclear Chemistry

Principles of American Nuclear Chemistry What was life like for the scientists working at Los Alamos Thomas McMahon imagines this life through the wide eyes of young Tim MacLaurin the thirteen year old son of an MIT physicist who inspired

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  • Title: Principles of American Nuclear Chemistry
  • Author: Thomas McMahon
  • ISBN: 9780226561103
  • Page: 197
  • Format: Paperback
  • What was life like for the scientists working at Los Alamos Thomas McMahon imagines this life through the wide eyes of young Tim MacLaurin, the thirteen year old son of an MIT physicist who, inspired by a young woman named Maryann, worked on the project Filled with the sensuous excitement of scientific discovery and the outrageous behavior of people pushed beyond their lWhat was life like for the scientists working at Los Alamos Thomas McMahon imagines this life through the wide eyes of young Tim MacLaurin, the thirteen year old son of an MIT physicist who, inspired by a young woman named Maryann, worked on the project Filled with the sensuous excitement of scientific discovery and the outrageous behavior of people pushed beyond their limits, Principles of American Nuclear Chemistry is a beautifully written coming of age story that explores the mysterious connections between love and work, inspiration and history.

    One thought on “Principles of American Nuclear Chemistry”

    1. I just love this novel. Set at and around Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, it combines the short time-span of the war and the rising tension of the scientists' work with a languorous, nostalgic atmosphere of sexual awakening, domestic discord, the beauty of the American Southwest, and thoughtful moral-ethical questioning by both the young protagonist and the physicists themselves - all done with a pretty light touch, for the most part. Some might claim the novel tries to tackle too much [...]

    2. File this under coming-of-age stories. The most interesting part of this book is McMahon's imaginings of life at Los Alamos among the scientists who built the atomic bomb. His descriptions of New Mexico emphasize the isolation and loneliness of the main characters, though I couldn't help comparing McMahon's descriptions to Willa Cather's earlier descriptions of New Mexico. I wanted to tell the main character to lighten up, even though telling a 30-year old brooding on his teen years to lighten u [...]

    3. This was a really interesting book, although quite disturbing in places. The whole business with the father's secretary, the depression, etc. I know a lot about the time and the Lab, but this gave it a personal outlook I had not previously considered. I think there was some weird stuff about Oppenheimer (didn't use his name I don't think) and his mistress (Jean Tatlock) in Berkeley.

    4. This was a sort of strange book. The author jumped around from 'present' day to the past between chapters and I found it to be confusing at times. The main character was clearly flawed, which was interesting, but I didn't feel like he found any resolution or grew at all by the end of the book, which was disappointing.

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