Read The Teller's War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars Deception by William J. Broad Free Online
Book Title: The Teller's War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars Deception|
The author of the book: William J. Broad
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Loaded: 2917 times
Reader ratings: 5.2
Edition: Touchstone Books
Date of issue: July 1st 1993
ISBN 13: 9780671867386
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.16 MB
Read full description of the books:
Broad knows what's up with missile defense. As the New York Times science correspondent during the 80s, he was close to many of the principles in various stabs at Star Wars during the Reagan administration. The prime mover was Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb, founder of Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and the conservative doyen of nuclear scientific clientage. For all his successes, Teller had a checkered record as a scientist. The mainstream academic community had turned against him in the 1950s over his betrayal of Oppenheimer during the Red Scare. He hadn't made a major scientific contribution on the order of his Manhattan Project peers. And the public regarded him as a Dr. Strangelove-esque madman who's plans for peaceful hydrogen bombs had come to nothing.
In this climate, Teller grabbed onto the scientifically advanced bomb-pumped X-Ray laser as a way to defeat the Soviet nuclear arsenal, shield America from mutually assured destruction, and ensure his place in the history books. Theoretically, the X-ray laser could amplify an H-bomb into beams of coherent light billions of times brighter than the blast itself, shooting 100,000s of independently targetable beams at a nuclear strike. Theoretically. Engineering this thing would be a nightmare, as the whole apparatus existed for only a nanosecond next to an exploding hydrogen bomb.
Teller's optimism, vision, and passion were his greatest assets as a scientific leader, but in this case they lead to his downfall, as Teller oversold Reagan on the potential of the X-ray laser. The narrative mostly follows Roy Woodruff, the nuclear scientist in charge of the X-ray laser program, and his attempts to properly inform the Reagan administration and the public about the serious limits and uncertainties around Star Wars in the face of Teller's PR campaign and scorched earth bureaucratic warfare.
The story of Star Wars is bigger than just Teller and Woodruff, but Broad's framing is essentially correct, and provides a gripping and technically accurate account of some of the most fraught science politics in recent memory.
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Read information about the authorWilliam J. Broad is a best-selling author and a senior writer at The New York Times. In more than thirty years as a science journalist, he has written hundreds of front-page articles and won every major journalistic award in print and film. His reporting shows unusual depth and breadth - everything from exploding stars and the secret life of marine mammals to the spread of nuclear arms and why the Titanic sank so fast. The Best American Science Writing, a yearly anthology, has twice featured his work.
He joined The Times in 1983 and before that worked in Washington for Science, the magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Broad has won two Pulitzer Prizes with Times colleagues, as well as an Emmy and a DuPont. He won the Pulitzers for coverage of the space shuttle Challenger disaster and the feasibility of antimissile arms. In 2002, he won the Emmy (PBS Nova) for a documentary that detailed the threat of germ terrorism. He was a Pulitzer finalist in 2005 for articles written with Times colleague David E. Sanger on nuclear proliferation. In 2007, he shared a DuPont Award (The Discovery Channel) from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for the television documentary, "Nuclear Jihad: Can Terrorists Get the Bomb?"
Broad is the author or co-author of eight books, most recently The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards (Simon & Schuster, 2012), a New York Times bestseller. His books have been translated into dozens of languages. His other titles include Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War (Simon & Schuster, 2001), a number-one New York Times bestseller; The Universe Below: Discovering the Secrets of the Deep Sea (Simon & Schuster, 1997); Teller's War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars Deception (Simon & Schuster, 1992); and Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science (Simon & Schuster, 1982).
Broad's reporting has taken him to Paris and Vienna, Brazil and Ecuador, Kiev and Kazakhstan. In December 1991, he was among the last Westerners to see the Soviet hammer and sickle flying over the Kremlin.
Broad's media appearances include Larry King Live, The Charlie Rose Show, The Discovery Channel, Nova, The History Channel, and National Public Radio. His speaking engagements have ranged from the U.S. Navy in Washington, to the Knickerbocker Club in New York, to the Monterey Aquarium in California. He has also given talks at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
Broad earned a masters degree in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He has three adult children and lives with his wife in the New York metropolitan area.