Synopses & Reviews
Theodore Taylor was one of the most brilliant engineers of the nuclear age, but in his later years he became concerned with the possibility of an individual being able to construct a weapon of mass destruction on their own. McPhee tours American nuclear institutions with Taylor and shows us how close we are to terrorist attacks employing homemade nuclear weaponry.
A book holding, with pretty good authority, that tens of thousands of people know enough about the bomb and are close enough to what they don't know to produce a bomb at home . . . The report's art at its difficult best."—Alvin Beam, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer
"Though dwellers in the nuclear age should ponder this book, as much for its intellectual excitement as for its warning."—Edmund Fuller, The Wall Street Journal
With his customary reportorial brilliance, John McPhee has written the story of the life and career of Theodore B. Taylor, a theoretical physicist who has been one of the most inventive nuclear scientists of our time.
About the Author
was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time
magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker
, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. Also in 1965, he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are
, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the years since, he has written nearly 30 books, including Oranges
(1967), Coming into the Country
(1977), The Control of Nature
(1989), The Founding Fish
(2002), Uncommon Carriers
(2007), and Silk Parachute
(2011). Encounters with the Archdruid
(1972) and The Curve of Binding Energy
(1974) were nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. McPhee received the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. In 1999, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World
. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.