Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century

G. Pascal Zachary
ISBN:
9780262740227

As a young professor at MIT in the 1920s, Vannevar Bush (1890-1974) did seminal work on analog computing and was a co-founder of Raytheon, whose initial success was based on long-lasting radio tubes. But he is best known for his role in Washington during World War II: as President Roosevelt's adviser, he organized the Manhattan Project and oversaw the work of 6,000 civilian scientists designing new weapons. His 1945 report 'Science—The Endless Frontier' spurred the creation of a system of public support for university research that endures to this day.Although he helped to give rise to the military-industrial complex, Bush was a skeptical observer of the interplay between science and politics. He warned against the dangers of an arms race and led a failed effort to halt testing of the hydrogen bomb. This balanced and gracefully written biography brings to life an American original and his times.

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