Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning scholar, dies at age 84 | WGN Radio 720

New York (AP) — A nuclear weapon that spent more than 20 years researching Pulitzer Prize-winning pioneer physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who challenged the United States’ support for Japan’s bombing in “the world was destroyed.” The first person, Martin J. Sherwin-the award-winning “American Prometheus” has died.

Sherwin died at his home in Washington, DC on Wednesday, according to his friend Andrew Hartman, a professor of history at Illinois State University. He was 84 years old and was fighting lung cancer. Kaibird, a close friend and co-author of “American Prometheus,” called him “probably a prominent historian of the nuclear age.”

“When we started working on’American Prometheus’, he told me there was a lot of research, but there were some gaps,” Bird told The Associated Press on Saturday. “I couldn’t find the gap when I started looking at all the material.”

Originally from New York City, Sherwin’s interest in nuclear research dates back to his undergraduate days at Dartmouth College, where he spent the summer at the uranium mine in the west. The relationship between Sherwin and the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union became horribly personal during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. He was a Navy officer and was informed of plans to evacuate from a San Diego base to a remote location in Baja California, Mexico.

“The rationale was to disperse military aircraft beyond the reach of Soviet missiles,” he wrote last year in “Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis.” “Some junior officers, all of us bachelor’s degrees, joked that the beaches of Baja would be a fun place to die.”

He is best known for his 2005 publication “American Prometheus” and won the Pulitzer Prize. This book was widely praised as a comprehensive and valuable study of the so-called “father of the atomic bomb”. He was later tapped on the phone, advocating nuclear containment during the McCarthyist era of the 1950s, and opposed development, so security clearances were revoked. Of a hydrogen bomb.

Sherwin began writing books in the late 1970s on a one-hour horseback to the ranch on the hillside of New Mexico, where Oppenheimer once lived. He continued for the next 20 years, accumulating tens of thousands of pages of research, from FBI files to personal communications to interviews with people who knew Oppenheimer. Bird, who became a friend in the 1990s and was eventually brought to help, joked that Sherwin had fallen into a “biographer’s illness.”

The Pulitzer Prize judge quoted Sherwin and Bird as “the affluent awakening of America in the mid-century” and “American Prometheus” deeply related to its major event, depression, World War II. A new and compelling portrait of a brilliant, ambitious, complex and flawed man. ” World War II and the Cold War. “

Sherwin is also a popular teacher and lecturer at Princeton University, George Mason University, and Tufts University, where he founded the Center for Nuclear Era History. At Princeton, he advised writer journalist Eric Schlosser and coached Katrina Vanden Huber, now the editorial director and publisher of the liberal weekly magazine The Nation. Sherwin was a contributor and served on the board of directors.

Sherwin’s first book, The Destroyed World: Hiroshima and Its Heritage, was published in 1975 and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. The New York Times said whether the United States needed nuclear weapons to defeat Japan in World War II (Sherwin was based on President Truman’s decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki to intimidate Russians) He praised the book for his unprecedented learning of questions such as. The United States has chosen not to share nuclear development with its World War II ally, the Soviet Union.

In the mid-1990s, Sherwin was one of the advisers to the Smithsonian Institution, which was planned for the 50th anniversary of the Japanese bombing, which was canceled after opposition to what veterans and dozens of parliamentarians consider to be anti-American bias. bottom. Instead, the Smithsonian exhibited only Enola Gay, the plane the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.

“In the United States, the collective memory of World War II sees war as” our best time, “” he wrote in the 2003 edition of “A World Destroyed.”

“America without that image is unimaginable for most members of the war-torn generation and for the next generation who defined worldview and political life as a reflection of this image.”

According to Kaibird, he and Sherwin were working on a new book proposal, despite being severely debilitated by cancer treatment. Sherwin is a crew of B-29 bombers captured off Japan at the end of World War II and saved from execution by an English-speaking Japanese commander who brought them to Hiroshima. I wanted to tell the extraordinary true story of the members. We were able to see for ourselves the devastation of the recently dropped atomic bomb.

“He sat in his story for a very long time, dating back to 1975 when he interviewed one of the B-29’s crew,” Bird said. “He was really excited about this, and I’m trying to see if I could turn this into a book proposal. The day he died, he was editing the proposal. He was still interested and his mind was vigilant, even while his body was giving. “

Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning scholar, dies at age 84 | WGN Radio 720

Source link Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning scholar, dies at age 84 | WGN Radio 720

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