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Hitler's Scientists: Science, War, and the Devil's Pact

Hitler's Scientists: Science, War, and the Devil's Pact Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Hitler came to power in the 1930s, Germany had led the world in science, mathematics, and technology for nearly four decades. But while the fact that Hitler swiftly pressed Germany's scientific prowess into the service of a brutal, racist, xenophobic ideology is well known, few realize that German scientists had knowingly broken international agreements and basic codes of morality to fashion deadly weapons even before World War I. In Hitler's Scientists, British historian John Cornwell explores German scientific genius in the first half of the twentieth century and shows how Germany's early lead in the new physics led to the discovery of atomic fission, which in turn led the way to the atom bomb, and how the ideas of Darwinism were hijacked to create the lethal doctrine of racial cleansing.

By the war's end, almost every aspect of Germany's scientific culture had been tainted by the exploitation of slave labor, human experimentation, and mass killings. Ultimately, it was Hitler's profound scientific ignorance that caused the Fatherland to lose the race for atomic weapons, which Hitler would surely have used. Cornwell argues that German scientists should be held accountable for the uses to which their knowledge was put-an issue with wide-ranging implications for the continuing unregulated pursuit of scientific progress.

Book News Annotation:

In this wide-ranging and somewhat misleadingly titled narrative, Cornwell (history and philosophy of science, Cambridge U., UK) examines the history of German science (encompassing the natural sciences, medicine, and technology) over the course of the first half of the 20th century. Perhaps the title is justified because, as Cornwell argues, no account of science under the Nazis, which occupies just the second half of the text, can be understood in the absence of discussion of remarkable expansion of German science that preceded it. In his discussion of German science, he explores political, social, institutional, and moral questions, as well as more purely technological, industrial, and scientific issues.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

An eye-opening account of the rise of science in Germany through to Hitler’s regime, and the frightening Nazi experiments that occurred during the Reich

A shocking account of Nazi science, and a compelling look at the the dramatic rise of German science in the nineteenth century, its preeminence in the early twentieth, and the frightening developments that led to its collapse in 1945, this is the compelling story of German scientists under Hitler’s regime. Weaving the history of science and technology with the fortunes of war and the stories of men and women whose discoveries brought both benefits and destruction to the world, Hitler's Scientists raises questions that are still urgent today. As science becomes embroiled in new generations of weapons of mass destruction and the war against terrorism, as advances in biotechnology outstrip traditional ethics, this powerful account of Nazi science forms a crucial commentary on the ethical role of science.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [501]-512) and index.

About the Author

John Cornwell is in the department of history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University. He is a regular feature writer at the Sunday Times (London) and the author and editor of four books on science, including Power to Harm, on the Louisville Prozac trial, as well as Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII and Breaking Faith: Can the Catholic Church Save Itself?

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Understanding the Germans

Part One: Hitler's Scientific Inheritance

1. Hitler the Scientist

2. Germany the Science Mecca

3. Fritz Haber

4. The Poison Gas Scientists

5. The "Science" of Racial Hygiene

6. Eugenics and Psychiatry

Part Two: The New Physics 1918-1933

7. Physics after the First War

8. German Science Survives

Part Three: Nazi Enthusiasm, Compliance and Oppression 1933-1939

9. The Dismissals

10. Engineers and Rocketeers

11. Medicine Under Hitler

12. The Cancer Campaign

13. Geopolitik and Lebensraum

14. Nazi Physics

15. Himmler's Pseudo-science

16. Deutsche Mathematik

Part Four: The Science of Destruction and Defence 1933-1943

17. Fission Mania

18. World War II

19. Machines of War

20. Radar

21. Codes

Part Five: The Nazi Atomic Bomb 1941-1945

22. Copenhagen

23. Speer and Heisenberg

24. Haigerloch and Los Alamos

Part Six: Science in Hell 1942-1945

25. Slave Labour at Dora

26. The "Science" of Extermination and Human Experiment

27. The Devil's Chemists

28. Wonder Weapons

Part Seven: In Hitler's Shadow

29. Farm Hall

30. Heroes, Villains, and Fellow Travellers

31. Scientific Plunder

Part Eight: Science from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism

32. Nuclear Postures

33. Uniquely Nazi?

34. Science at War Again

Notes

Select Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670030750
Subtitle:
Science, War, and the Devil's Pact
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Cornwell, John
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Science
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
History
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
Europe - Germany
Subject:
Europe
Subject:
Scientists
Subject:
Science and state
Subject:
World War, 19
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Germany
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Abridged:
Abridged Edition
Series Volume:
149
Publication Date:
20040928
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-page b/w photo insert on text stock
Pages:
576
Dimensions:
9.31x6.45x1.74 in. 1.98 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Nazi Germany
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » Nazi Germany

Hitler's Scientists: Science, War, and the Devil's Pact
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Product details 576 pages Viking Books - English 9780670030750 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
An eye-opening account of the rise of science in Germany through to Hitler’s regime, and the frightening Nazi experiments that occurred during the Reich

A shocking account of Nazi science, and a compelling look at the the dramatic rise of German science in the nineteenth century, its preeminence in the early twentieth, and the frightening developments that led to its collapse in 1945, this is the compelling story of German scientists under Hitler’s regime. Weaving the history of science and technology with the fortunes of war and the stories of men and women whose discoveries brought both benefits and destruction to the world, Hitler's Scientists raises questions that are still urgent today. As science becomes embroiled in new generations of weapons of mass destruction and the war against terrorism, as advances in biotechnology outstrip traditional ethics, this powerful account of Nazi science forms a crucial commentary on the ethical role of science.

"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. [501]-512) and index.
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