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Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet Scientists (Oxford University Press), by Istvan Hargittai

Jan. 8, 2014
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Buried Glory
is focused on physicists of the Soviet era, most of them involved (if briefly) in the nuclear arms program. The most prominent, Andrei Sakharov, is better remembered for his brave position on human rights than his work on the H-Bomb. Few of his colleagues were as courageous, yet most of Buried Glory’s physicists opposed Soviet policy at one time or another. Modern scientific ideas were often attacked by the Stalinists; quantum mechanics and relativity were dismissed as contrary to Marxism-Leninism, yet the physicists were ultimately protected from persecution by a pragmatic realization: ideology had to be set aside if the USSR was to challenge the U.S. in the nuclear arms race. 

 

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