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Einstein and Twentieth-Century Politics'A Salutary Moral Influence'$
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Richard Crockatt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785491

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785491.001.0001

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The Bomb and the Arms Race

The Bomb and the Arms Race

(p.107) 5 The Bomb and the Arms Race
Einstein and Twentieth-Century Politics

Richard Crockatt

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the issue of Einstein’s supposed involvement with the atom bomb. His signature on the letter to Roosevelt in 1939 warning the President that fission of uranium could mean bombs of enormous power had some influence in prompting the establishment of the Manhattan Project, though he did not participate in the project itself, not least because he was considered a security risk. The public impression that Einstein had been associated with the atom bomb dogged his career. In fact Einstein’s connection to the atomic issues was always political, visible in the post-war period in his advocacy of international control of nuclear energy, his chairmanship of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, and his opposition to the H-bomb, culminating in the Russell–Einstein Manifesto. Though published some months after his death in April 1955, his signature on this document cemented his association with the anti-nuclear movement.

Keywords:   atom bomb, letter to Roosevelt, Manhattan Project, Emergency Committee, Russell–Einstein Manifesto, atomic bomb, H-bomb, Atomic Scientists, uranium, anti-nuclear movement

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