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  1. 14.7 hrs • 3/25/2014 • Unabridged

    The Age of Radiance is the first complete history of the Atomic Age, a brilliant account of the men and women who uncovered the secrets of the nucleus, brought its power to America, and ignited the twentieth century. When Marie Curie, Enrico Fermi, and Edward Teller forged the science of radioactivity, they created a revolution that arced from the end of the nineteenth century, through the course of World War II and the Cold War, to our own twenty-first-century confrontation with the dangers of nuclear power and proliferation. While nuclear science improves our everyday lives, radiation’s invisible powers can also trigger cancer and cellular mayhem. Writing with a biographer’s passion, Craig Nelson unlocks one of the great mysteries of the universe in a work that is tragic, triumphant, and above all, fascinating. Nelson illuminates a pageant of fascinating historical figures: Marie and Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, Franklin Roosevelt, J. Robert Oppenheimer, John F. Kennedy, and Mikhail Gorbachev, among others. He reveals how brilliant Jewish scientists fleeing Hitler transformed America from a nation that created lightbulbs and telephones into one that split atoms, and how the most grotesque weapon ever invented could realize Alfred Nobel’s lifelong dream of global peace. Radiance defies our common-sense views of nature. Radiation is as scary a word as cancer, but it is the power that keeps our planet warm, as well as the force behind earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, and so organic to all life that even our own human bodies are radioactive. By tracing mankind’s complicated relationship with the dangerous energy it unleashed, Nelson reveals how atomic power and radiation are indivisible from our everyday lives.

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    The Age of Radiance

    14.7 hrs • 3/25/14 • Unabridged
  2. 13.0 hrs • 4/20/2009 • Unabridged

    Uranium is a common element in the earth’s crust and the only naturally occurring mineral with the power to end all life on the planet. After World War II, it reshaped the global order—whoever could master uranium could master the world. Marie Curie gave us hope that uranium would be a miracle panacea, but the Manhattan Project gave us reason to believe that civilization would end with apocalypse. Slave labor camps in Africa and Eastern Europe were built around mine shafts, and America would knowingly send more than six hundred uranium miners to their graves in the name of national security. Fortunes have been made from this yellow dirt; massive energy grids have been run from it. Fear of it panicked the American people into supporting a questionable war with Iraq, and its specter threatens to create another conflict in Iran. Now, some are hoping it can help avoid a global warming catastrophe. In Uranium, Tom Zoellner takes readers around the globe in this intriguing look at the mineral that can sustain life or destroy it.

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    13.0 hrs • 4/20/09 • Unabridged
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