• American Prometheus

  • The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • By: Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 26 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (4,126 ratings)

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American Prometheus  By  cover art

American Prometheus

By: Kai Bird,Martin J. Sherwin
Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
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Publisher's summary

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • The definitive biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war, and who later found himself confronting the moral consequences of scientific progress.

THE INSPIRATION FOR THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
OPPENHEIMER

J. Robert Oppenheimer is one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war and who later found himself confronting the moral consequences of scientific progress.

When he proposed international controls over atomic materials, opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb, and criticized plans for a nuclear war, his ideas were anathema to powerful advocates of a massive nuclear buildup during the anti-Communist hysteria of the early 1950s. They declared that Oppenheimer could not be trusted with America’s nuclear secrets.

In this magisterial biography twenty-five years in the making, which won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography, the authors capture Oppenheimer’s life and times, from his early career to his central role in the Cold War.

©2005 Kai Bird; 2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic reviews

"The definitive biography...Oppenheimer's life doesn't influence us. It haunts us." ( Newsweek)
"[A] profoundly fascinating, richly complex, and ineffably sad American life.... Bird and Sherwin are without peer...in capturing the humanity of the man." ( Booklist)
"A work of voluminous scholarship and lucid insight, unifying its multifaceted portrait with a keen grasp of Oppenheimer's essential nature.... It succeeds in deeply fathoming his most damaging, self-contradictory behavior." ( New York Times)

Featured Article: 12 Thrilling History Listens to Get Ready for Oppenheimer


Dubbed the "father of the atomic bomb," J. Robert Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist who gained notoriety for the role he played in the Manhattan Project and the creation of the very first nuclear weapon. After the atomic bomb was developed, it was deployed by the United States to destroy the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These listens provide historical context about the man at the center of Christopher Nolan's biopic.