Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the United States By: Alex Wellerstein

Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the United States By: Alex Wellerstein

The American atomic bomb was born in secrecy. From the moment scientists first conceived of its possibility to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and beyond, there were efforts to control the spread of nuclear information and the newly discovered scientific facts that made such powerful weapons possible. The totalizing scientific secrecy that the atomic bomb appeared to demand was new, unusual, and very nearly unprecedented. It was foreign to American science and American democracy – and potentially incompatible with both. From the beginning, this secrecy was controversial, and it was always contested. The atomic bomb was not merely the application of science to war, but the result of decades of investment in scientific education, infrastructure, and global collaboration. If secrecy became the norm, how would science survive?

Drawing on troves of declassified files, including records released by the government for the first time through the author’s efforts, Restricted Data traces the complex evolution of the US nuclear secrecy regime from the first whisper of the atomic bomb through the mounting tensions of the Cold War and into the early 21st century. A compelling history of powerful ideas at war, it tells a story that feels distinctly American: rich, sprawling, and built on the conflict between high-minded idealism and ugly, fearful power.


©2021 The University of Chicago (P)2021 Tantor

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Listening Length 17 hours and 24 minutes
Author Alex Wellerstein
Narrator John McLain
Whispersync for Voice Ready Release Date October 26, 2021
Publisher Tantor Audio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
Best Sellers Rank #43,121 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#56 in Nuclear Physics (Books)
#166 in Physics (Audible Books & Originals)
#283 in World War II History (Audible Books & Originals)