Friday 12 December 2014

An Atomic Love Story: The Extraordinary Women in Robert Oppenheimer's Life by Shirley Streshinsky

An Atomic Love Story: The Extraordinary Women in Robert Oppenheimer's Life by Shirley Streshinsky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Set against a dramatic backdrop of war, spies, and nuclear bombs, An Atomic Love Story unveils a vivid new view of a tumultuous era and one of its most important figures. In the early decades of the 20th century, three highly ambitious women found their way to the West Coast, where each was destined to collide with the young Oppenheimer, the enigmatic physicist whose work in creating the atomic bomb would forever impact modern history. His first and most intense love was for Jean Tatlock, though he married the tempestuous Kitty Harrison—both were members of the Communist Party—and was rumored to have had a scandalous affair with the brilliant Ruth Sherman Tolman, ten years his senior and the wife of another celebrated physicist. Although each were connected through their relationship to Oppenheimer, their experiences reflect important changes in the lives of American women in the 20th century: the conflict between career and marriage; the need for a woman to define herself independently; experimentation with sexuality; and the growth of career opportunities.

Beautifully written and superbly researched through a rich collection of firsthand accounts, this intimate portrait shares the tragedies, betrayals, and romances of an alluring man and three bold women, revealing how they pushed to the very forefront of social and cultural changes in a fascinating, volatile era.


This book was not that easy to read, I had a bit of problem getting into it, especially since I had some trouble in the beginning separating the women stories from each other because the book shifted its focus from them all the time, instead of reading about one woman throughout her upbringing we got some info about her, jump to next, and so one and if you don’t have much knowledge about them before you read this book as I didn’t, then it can feel a bit too much info, to many new people all the time. This brings me to problem number 2, all the people! Relatives, friends, and scientists (and of course scientist friends) show up through the book and I felt it was a nightmare keeping track on everyone.

But I still found the book interesting, a bit heavy to read sometimes, but Robert Oppenheimer was such an interesting person to read about and it was a great approach this book to read about three women who all had an impact on his life. I especially found Jean Tatlock fascinating and it was devastating to read about her death.

I recommend this book for people that would like to know more about Robert Oppenheimer!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

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