Date of Award

Summer 1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Alfred Rollins

Committee Member

Patrick Rollins

Committee Member

William C. Frank

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47H373


J. Robert Oppenheimer played a highly visible role in the development of nuclear weapons policy for the United States. He was very influential in President Harry S. Truman's Administration after the Second World War. Following the Soviet Union's first atomic bomb blast in August 1949, Oppenheimer became out of step with those who made nuclear weapons policy. He continued to give advice on disarmament issues. In 1953, the first year of Dwight D. Eisenhower's Administration, Oppenheimer questioned the utility of the Superpower's nuclear arms build up, particularly the hydrogen bomb, while leaving the American people ignorant of the impact such an arms race would have on them. The President at first entertained Oppenheimer's advice, but turned against him because of Russian claims that they had exploded a hydrogen bomb. Oppenheimer became seen as a whistle blower to the news media and was seen as a liability because of his vulnerability to congressional demagogues such as Senator Joseph McCarthy.


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