American Prometheus

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American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
American Prometheus.jpg
AuthorKai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
PublisherAlfred A. Knopf
Publication date
LC ClassQC16.O62 B57 2005

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer is a biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2005. Twenty-five years in the making, the book was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.[1] It also won the 2008 Duff Cooper Prize, Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and Discover Magazine Best Science Book of the Year.


The book was compiled and researched for two decades by Martin J. Sherwin before Kai Bird was brought on to put it together in a cohesive and readable format.

The book's title refers to the legend of Prometheus, as mentioned in Scientific Monthly in September 1945:

"Modern Prometheans have raided Mount Olympus again and have brought back for man the very thunderbolts of Zeus."


It is 721 pages from start to finish in the May 2006 paperback edition, but it also includes 32 pages of photographs.

The first edition also has 721 pages.

Film adaptation[edit]

The book is set to be adapted into the 2023 biographical film Oppenheimer.[2]


External links[edit]