Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet Scientists by Istvan Hargittai

Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet Scientists

byIstvan Hargittai

Hardcover | November 6, 2013

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The apex of Soviet science as seen through the lives of twelve of the USSR's most eminent researchersMoscow's Novodevichy Cemetery is the final resting place of some of Russia's most celebrated figures, from Khrushchev and Yeltsin to Anton Chekhov, Sergei Eisenstein, Nikolai Gogol, and Mikhail Bulgakov. Using this famed cemetery as symbolic starting point, Buried Glory profiles a dozen eminentSoviet scientists - nine of whom are buried at Novodevichy - men who illustrate both the glorious heights of Soviet research as well as the eclipse of science since the collapse of the USSR.Drawing on extensive archival research and his own personal memories, renowned chemist Istvan Hargittai bring these figures back to life, placing their remarkable scientific achievements against the tense political backdrop of the Cold War. Among the eminent scientists profiled here are Petr L.Kapitza, one of the most brilliant representatives of the great generation of Soviet physicists, a Nobel-Prize winner who risked his career - and his life - standing up for fellow scientists against Stalin. Yulii B. Khariton, who ran the highly secretive Soviet nuclear weapons laboratory,Arzamas-16, despite being Jewish and despite the fact that his father Boris had been sent to the labor camps. And Andrei D. Sakharov, the "father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb" and a brilliant fighter for human rights, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Along the way, Hargittai shines a light onthe harrowing conditions under which these brilliant researchers excelled. Indeed, in the post-war period, Stalin's anti-Semitism and ongoing anti-science measures devastated biology, damaged chemistry, and nearly destroyed physics. The latter was saved only because Stalin realized that withoutphysics and physicists there could be no nuclear weapons.The extraordinary scientific talent nurtured by the Soviet regime belongs almost entirely to the past. Buried Glory is both a fitting tribute to these great scientists and a fascinating account of scientific work behind the Iron Curtain.

About The Author

Istvan Hargittai is a University Professor at the Institute of General and Analytical Chemistry at the Budapest Technical University. He is also a Research Professor and Head of Department at the Structural Chemistry Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at Eotvos University, and is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sc...
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Title:Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet ScientistsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:November 6, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199985596

ISBN - 13:9780199985593

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Nuclear Physicists1. Igor Tamm: Exemplary Consistency2. Yakov Zeldovich: Soviet Prometheus3. Andrei Sakharov: Soviet ConsciencePart II: Low-temperature Physicists4. Petr Kapitza: Respected Centaur5. Lev Landau: Genius and Evgenii Lifshits: More than Landau's Pen6. Vitaly Ginzburg: Amateur Astronomer7. Alexei Abrikosov: "Unmanageable"Part III: Chemists and Chemical Physicists8. Nikolai Semenov: Mr. Chain Reaction9. Yulii Khariton: Director of "Los Arzamas"10. Boris Belousov and Anatol Zhabotinsky: "Impossible" Reaction11. Aleksandr Kitaigorodskii: Soviet Maverick12. Aleksandr Nesmeyanov: Brilliant Administrator and Soviet CourtierEpilogueNotesBiographical NamesSome Notable DatesSelect BibliographyIndex