The World of Andrei Sakharov: A Russian Physicists Path to Freedom

Hardcover | April 8, 2005

byGennady Gorelik, Antonina W. Bouis

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How did Andrei Sakharov, a theoretical physicist and the acknowledged father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, become a human rights activist and the first Russian to win the Nobel Peace Prize? In his later years, Sakharov noted in his diary that he was "simply a man with an unusual fate." Tounderstand this deceptively straightforward statement by an extraordinary man, The World of Andrei Sakharov, the first authoritative study of Andrei Sakharov as a scientist as well as a public figure, relies on previously inaccessible documents, recently declassified archives, and personal accountsby Sakharov's friends and colleagues to examine the real context of Sakharov's life. In the course of doing so, Gennady Gorelik answers a fascinating question, whether the Soviet hydrogen bomb was really fathered by Sakharov, or whether it was based on stolen American secrets. Gorelik concludes that while espionage did initiate the Soviet effort, the Russian hydrogen bomb wasinvented independently. Gorelik also elucidates the reasons that brought about the seemingly sudden transformation of the top-secret physicist into a public figure in 1968, when Sakharov's famous essay "Progress, Peaceful Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom" was distributed in samizdat in the USSRand smuggled out to the West. Recently declassified documents show that Sakharov's metamorphosis was caused by professional concerns, particularly regarding the development of an anti-ballistic missile defense. An insider's view of how the upper echelons of the Soviet regime functioned had ledSakharov to the conclusion that the goals of peace, progress, and human rights were inextricably linked. His free thinking and free feeling were manifested in his hope that scientific thought and religious perception would find a profound synthesis in the future.

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How did Andrei Sakharov, a theoretical physicist and the acknowledged father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, become a human rights activist and the first Russian to win the Nobel Peace Prize? In his later years, Sakharov noted in his diary that he was "simply a man with an unusual fate." Tounderstand this deceptively straightforward stat...

Gennady Gorelik is at Boston University. Antonina W. Bouis is at Andrei Sakharov Foundation.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 6.3 × 9.09 × 1.18 inPublished:April 8, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019515620X

ISBN - 13:9780195156201

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Table of Contents

Part I: From Tsarist Russia to the Tsardom of Soviet Physics1. The Emergence of Soviet Physics and the Birth of FIAN2. Leonid Mandelshtam: The Teacher and His School3. The Year 1937Part II: Intra-Atomic, Nuclear, and Thermonuclear4. The Moral Underpinnings of the Soviet Atomic Project5. Andrei Sakharov, Tamm's Graduate Student6. Sergei Vavilov: The President of the Academy of Science7. Nuclear Physics under Beria's Command8. Russian Physics at the height of Cosmopolitanism9. The Hydrogen Bomb at FIANPart III: In The Nuclear Archipelago10. The Installation11. The "Heroic" Work at the Installation12. Theoretical Physicists in Soviet Practice13. The Physics of Social Responsibility14. From Military Physics to Peaceful Cosmology15. World Peace and World Science16. Reflections on Intellectual Freedom in 1968Part IV: A humanitarian Physicist17. Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn: The Physics and Geometry of Russian History18. On the Other Side19. Andrei and Lusya20. Freedom and responsibility

Editorial Reviews

"With its wider perspectives on the institutions and realities of Sakharov's age, this book should take a rightful place...among front displays of books about science, public policy and society...Through the example of the Soviet Union and its dissident hero Andrei Sakharov, Gorelik and Bouishave made an invaluable contribution to the universal conversation about morality and science."--The Moscow Times