The story of how America entered the Cold War and escaped unscathed without experiencing a nuclear war has not been well understood. As important as it is to us and our society, it has not been accurately told before.
At long last, Tom Ramos is able to lay out the story in great detail.
Tom’s direct experience and archival research have uniquely prepared him to accurately describe how Ernest O. Lawrence, a Nobel laureate, got the government to start an atomic program before Hitler’s Nazis could possess an atomic bomb. Then, he created a laboratory and assembled a group of young Americans who had to face a daunting and dangerous challenge to develop a thermonuclear weapon before Stalin’s Communists could.
These young men were upstarts of the 1950s, in the sense that they changed the path the country was on when facing the threat of Communism. They gave the country the means to get through the Cold War, by giving the Navy a warhead for Polaris, which allowed the country to avoid a thermonuclear exchange with the Soviet Union – an accomplishment that so many Americans take for granted.
The journey for our upstarts was not easy. They first had to overcome ridicule over three successive failed atomic tests, as well as threats from government officials in Washington who wanted to see them and their new laboratory shut down. But they accomplished goals once thought to be impossible, and President Kennedy flew out to Berkeley to personally thank them for averting a nuclear war.
This is the backdrop for an incredible and dramatic story!
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