This magnificent account of the coming of age of physics in America has been heralded as the best introduction to the history of science in the United States. Unsurpassed in its breadth and literary style, Daniel J. Kevles’s account portrays the brilliant scientists who became a powerful force in bringing the world into a revolutionary new era. The book ranges widely as it links these exciting developments to the social, cultural, and political changes that occurred from the post–Civil War years to the present. Throughout, Kevles keeps his eye on the central question of how an avowedly elitist enterprise grew and prospered in a democratic culture.
In this new edition, the author has brought the story up-to-date by providing an extensive, authoritative, and colorful account of the Superconducting Super Collider, from its origins in the international competition and intellectual needs of high-energy particle physics, through its establishment as a multibillion-dollar project, to its termination, in 1993, as a result of angry opposition within the American physics community and Congress.
The Physicists is the indispensable classic history—an epic guide to an epic drama. No one who wants to understand the twentieth century can afford to be without it.
[An] uncommonly good book.
A colorful, thoughtful, and accessible survey.
One of the most interesting, readable, well-researched, and informative books yet addressed to the institutional history of science in America.
A well-documented, beautifully written study of the scientific work of American physicists and of the intellectual and political milieu in which all the sciences—especially the physical sciences in the United States—subsisted in the 150-year period from 1830 to 1980… An outstanding example of dedicated scholarship that readers of many different backgrounds and interests will find both authoritative and fascinating.
- 537 pages
- 6-1/16 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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