Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler. Philip Ball.
Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler
Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler
Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler
Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler

Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler

Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2014. First Edition. Hardcover. "After World War II, most scientists in Germany maintained that they had been apolitical or actively resisted the Nazi regime, but the true story is much more complicated. In 'Serving the Reich,' Philip Ball takes a fresh look at that controversial history, contrasting the career of Peter Debye, director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin, with those of two other leading physicists in Germany during the Third Reich: Max Planck, the elder statesman of physics after whom Germany's premier scientific society is now named, and Werner Heisenberg, who succeeded Debye as director of the institute when it became focused on the development of nuclear power and weapons. / Mixing history, science, and biography, Ball's gripping exploration of the lives of scientists under Nazism offers a powerful portrait of moral choice and personal responsibility, as scientists navigated the "grey zone between complicity and resistance." Ball's account of the different choices these three men and their colleagues made shows how there can be no clear-cut answers of judgments of their conduct. Yet, despite these ambiguities, Ball makes it undeniable that the German scientific establishment as a whole mounted no serious resistance to the Nazis, and in many ways acted as a willing instrument of the state. 'Serving the Reich' considers what this problematic history can tell us about the relationship of science and politics today. Ultimately, Ball argues, a determination to present science as an abstract inquiry into nature that is "above politics" can leave science and scientists dangerously compromised and vulnerable to political manipulation." So reads the considerately-crafted, deeply fascinating front flap to British science author Philip Ball's (b. 1962) 2014 work, "Serving the Reich" in full. There's not too many cherries of prose I could add to the above-quoted flap copy that would make it any more interesting; hell, Your Devoted Assistant Curator wants to read it after perusing the flap copy! In the capable hands of those fascinated by World War II--and all those who consider themselves "historically-literate," for that matter--"Serving the Reich" is sure to be crowned a well-researched & laudable addition to the great wealth of World War II-related literature & scholarship, deserving of inclusion in most all collections-&-libraries. [ISBN-13: 978-0-226-20457-4]. Hardcover in unclipped dust-jacket: First Edition, with no reference to other editions at copyright page; First Printing, as indicated by number sequence thereon. From the collection of George V. Buehler (1933-2020), who was a prominent real estate developer & collector in Massachusetts & Arizona. We found & have retained, between blank rear endpaper & paste-down, printed-out documentation relating to Buehler's purchase of this item during 2014, folded at center and in extremely fine condition. Book in very fine condition, virtually as new. Dust-jacket in likewise very fine condition with only slightest, speck-like instances of shelf-wear near bottommost fine-edge of back cover. Very Fine / Very Fine. [Item #4946]

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