Tom MacWright

I read Atomic Awakening: A New Look at the History and Future of Nuclear Power by James Mahaffey on


It’s a solid book, but it’s trying to be different things at different points. He starts with lots of biographical detail - too much, for my taste, since I don’t particularly care whether Oppenheimer had a nice childhood. And then it transitions into a methodical explanation of the atomic experimentation and industry, and then finally into a decently robust argument for nuclear power. The first 80% is completely non-rhetorical, but you really feel it speed up and energize in the last 20%, and I was left wishing he had chosen one or the other.