Parallels with Robert Norris's Book





Editor's Note: The following parallels were compiled by Robert Norris.

Comparison of Brian VanDeMark's Pandora's Keepers (PK) (Little Brown, 2003) with Robert S. Norris's Racing for the Bomb (RFTB) (Steerforth Press, 2002) .

"Groves saw the world only in black and white, with no shades of gray. Extremely judgmental about people, he sized others up quickly and immediately decided whether they were acceptable or not-there were few second chances (PK, 77) "A fuller report assessing the total man would add that he saw much of the world in black-and-white terms, with gray a rarely used color. Endlessly judgmental . . . He sized people up quickly and decided that they either were acceptable or not. There were few second chances. " (RFTB, 9, 237)
"But even though he was not pleased, he knew what it meant to be a good soldier, and Groves considered himself a very good soldier." (PK, 78)"He was not pleased, but, he knew what it meant to be a good soldier, and Groves considered himself a very good soldier." (RFTB, 176)
"They [scientists] neither understood nor respected the military ethos of obedience and conformity. It was a clash of cultures. Trouble was bound to come, and it did." (PK, 78)"Trouble was bound to come, and it did . . . Much would happen that day that would set the tone for the relationship between the military and the scientists, a clash of cultures that never was resolved." (RFTB, 231, 232)
"Groves treated Oppenheimer with more respect and deference than he did any other project scientist-almost delicately, like a fine musical instrument that needed to be played just right." (PK, 111)"On Groves's part he treated Oppenheimer delicately, like a fine instrument that needed to be played just right." (RFTB, 243)
"They got along because each saw the other as the way to fulfill his ambition to achieve personal glory. (PK, 111)"Groves and Oppenheimer got on so well because each saw in the other the skills and intelligence necessary to fulfill their common goal, the successful use of the bomb in World War II. The bomb in fact would be the route to immortality for the both of them."
(RFTB, 242)
"On July second, Groves phoned Oppenheimer to discuss the test schedule. . . . Oppenheimer . . . said it went against his own feeling, but if the general wanted it that way, he would do it." (fn 63) (PK, 168) Odd footnote reference on p. 355 - Leslie R. Groves Diary, Boxes 1-4, Papers of Leslie R. Groves, Entry 7530G, Record Group 200, NA. "On July 2 Groves called Oppenheimer to discuss the test schedule. . . . 'Dr O said that they would meet the earlier date but it went against his own feeling but if the Gen wanted it that way they would do it.'" (fn 13) (RFTB, 400) LRG Appointment Book. Groves Diary, Boxes 1-4, Entry 7530G, Papers of LRG, RG 200, NARA
"By bringing in the army, he [Bush] could hide the project's expenditures with the Corps of Engineers' massive budget under line items labeled 'Procurement of New Materials' and 'Expediting Production.' Roosevelt did not want to have to defend the Manhattan project to the Congress. This would result in unacceptable delay and would undermine the absolute secrecy in which he felt the project had to be cloaked." (PK, 65)"The primary reason for bringing in the army was to hide the expenditures for the project within the corps's massive budget. Throughout the war the budget for the Manhattan Project was principally concealed in line items of the Corps of Engineers' budget labeled 'Procurement of New Materials' or 'Expediting Production.' Bush did not hide his reason for concealing the budget: He did not want to have to defend the project to the Congress. This would result in unacceptable delay, and it would undermine the extensive secrecy in which he felt the project had to be cloaked." (RFTB, 168)
"Eventually the Hanford facility would grow to more than 428,000 acres - 500 square miles, half the size of the state of Rhode Island. . . . The statistics were staggering: 540 buildings, more than 600 miles of roads, 158 miles of railroad track, vast quantities of water, concrete, lumber, steel, and pipe. Eventually, 132,000 workers (working 126 million man-hours) were hired-almost as many as had worked on the Panama Canal. . . . The total cost to build and run Hanford during the war would reach $358 million, or nearly $5 billion in 2003 dollars." (PK, 69)"Eventually Hanford would grow to more than 428,000 acres - five hundred square miles in area, half the size of the state of Rhode Island. . . . The numbers at Hanford, as with most things connected to the Manhattan Project, were staggering: 540 buildings, more than 600 miles of roads, 158 miles of railroad track, vast quantities of water, concrete, lumber, steel, and pipe. Approximately 132,000 people were hired over the period (working 126 million man-hours)-eight times the number that had built the Grand Coulee Dam, and almost as many as had worked on the Panama Canal. . . . The total cost to build and run Hanford during the war was $358 million, or $4.65 billion in 2001 dollars."(RFTB, 216, 221-222)
"He would, for example, deliberately give Los Alamos excessively optimistic reports about what was accomplished at Oak Ridge: likewise, he would give Oak Ridge excessively optimistic reports about how things were going at Los Alamos. In this way, he could make both groups work harder, since each group would think it was the bottleneck and therefore get things done faster." (PK, 117) "An additional reason for compartmentalizing the sites was to stimulate competition so as to make them work harder. As Norman Ramsey acutely observed:
'Generally General Groves would deliberately give Los Alamos excessively optimistic reports as to what was being done at Oak Ridge. In fact, that was one of the reasons he didn't let people from Los Alamos go to Oak Ridge; we might find out how slow they were on their schedules. Likewise, he'd give the Oak Ridge people excessively optimistic reports as to how things were going at Los Alamos, with dominantly, I think, the laudable reason that in this fashion he could make both groups really work hard, since each group would think it was a bottleneck and therefore things would get done faster.'" (fn Norman F. Ramsey, Oral History Interview, July 19-August 3, 1960, Columbia University Oral History Collection, 68.) (RFTB, 266-267) (I believe this would be a case of double plagiarism, RSN)

 

 



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Joseph OPPENHEIMER - 10/21/2003

The most egregious case I personally have ever observed after 40 years as an editor.

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