NOTE: When books are in print and available, they will be highlighted, with a book icon when we have one, for you to check out at Amazon.com.
Peter Goodchild, J. Robert Oppenheimer: Shatterer of Worlds . New York, 1985. This is the best one-volume introduction to Oppenheimer, the development of the atomic bomb, and the tragic destruction of Oppenheimer by Cold War politicians — your cost at Amazon.com $13.56.
Stanley Blumberg and Louis Panos, Edward Teller: Giant of the Golden Age of Physics. New York, 1990. The best study of the father of the hydrogen bomb, and the chief villain of the J. Robert Oppenheimer story — unfortunately, out-of-print, but probably in your library.
Robert Jervis, The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution : Statecraft and the Prospect of Armageddon (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs). Cornell, 1989. This one raises provocative questions.
J.P. McEvoy and Oscar Zarate, Introducing Quantum Theory. New York, 1996. The new physics for dummies, including your Chautauquan.
John McPhee, The Curve of Binding Energy. New York, 1974. Excellent on Edward Teller’s “vision.”
K.D. Nichols, The Road to Trinity. New York, 1987 — check your library, out-of-print.
Richard Rhodes, Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb. New York, 1995. Excellent on the post-war ordeal of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
For the Young:
J. E. Driemen, Atomic Dawn: A Biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Minneapolis, 1989. Find it at your library.
Jack Rummel, J. Robert Oppenheimer: Dark Prince (Makers of Modern Science Series). New York, 1992