Author Archives: William Lanouette

Book Review: The Little Match’s Momentous Legacy


This article is in Climate Engineering, Spring 2017


The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age by Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2016, 351 pp. Enrico Fermi ranks among the twentieth century’s most famous physicists. He is known to the public for creating the world’s first nuclear reactor, and to fellow scientists […]

Book Review: Bomb control


This article is in Educating the Worker of the Future, Summer 2015


Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom by Elaine Scarry. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2014, 582 pp. The provocative title for this provocative book by Elaine Scarry at once declares that humanity’s most destructive weapons of mass destruction are in too few (often just two) hands, and declaims against this reality […]

Book Review: Where’s Oppie?


This article is in Ocean Policy: Time to Act, Fall 2004


Where’s Oppie? Oppenheimer: Portrait of an Enigma, by Jeremy Bernstein. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2004, 240 pp. William Lanouette Imagine spending half a century to write a short book. That’s what Jeremy Bernstein has done, and the wait was worth it. A physics professor and New Yorker writer, Bernstein has watched and studied J. Robert […]

Book Review: The political Einstein


This article is in Ending the Inertia on Energy Policy, Winter 2008


The political Einstein Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb eds. David E. Rowe and Robert Schulmann. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007, 523 pp. William Lanouette If you’ve thought of Albert Einstein as he’s so often pictured by news media— as that famously […]

Book Review: Fusing science and civics


This article is in Better U.S. Health Care at Lower Cost, Winter 2010


Fusing science and civics Meeting the Demands of Reason: The Life and Thought of Andrei Sakharov by Jay Bergman. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2009, 454 pp. William Lanouette Andrei Sakharov is widely remembered today for two things. As a physicist, he helped create the Soviet Union’s first and biggest thermonuclear weapons, and as […]

Book Review: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science


This article is in Affordable National Security, Summer 2011


Life of Feynman Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science by Lawrence M. Krauss. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011, 350 pp. William Lanouette The general public may recall physicist Richard Feynman for his televised demonstration when he was a member of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. He […]