Friday, January 16, 2015

Doctor Atomic in Real Life

A couple of months back, thanks to Kalimac, I started reading Alex Wellerstein's nuclear secrecy blog, Restricted Data, which exists at the intersection of military history and technical history. It's just fascinating stuff.

Wellerstein has just completed a two-part series called Oppenheimer, Unredacted, which I highly recommend if you're interested in the career of J. Robert Oppenheimer, hero (or anti-hero) of John (Coolidge) Adams's opera Doctor Atomic. The two postings are of interest not only because of the interesting light they shed on Oppenheimer, but because of how Wellerstein located the unredacted transcripts and, especially, his analysis of how the transcripts were censored prior to release, that is, the logic behind what was removed and what was not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Part I describes the process of requesting items from the stacks at the government documents research facility. Wellerstein says the system "is unusual among American archives in its complexity."

It is, but it reminds me a lot of the Bodleian, especially the retrieval schedule.