The Open Mind.

First Edition of J. Robert Oppenheimer's The Open Mind; Inscribed by Him to Best Friend and Confidant Ruth Sherman Tolman

The Open Mind.



Item Number: 118352

New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955.

First edition of Oppenheimer’s selected lectures on nuclear weapons and popular culture. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in the year of publication, “for Ruth, with my love Robert Christmas 1955.” The recipient, Ruth Sherman Tolman was the wife of Richard C. Tolman, and was Robert Oppenheimer’s best friend and confidant. A brilliant psychologist in her own right, she helped lead the effort to make psychology a science, held a key post with the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA, and established some of the first treatments for battle fatigue, which we know today as PTSD. Robert Oppenheimer, the Father of the Atomic Bomb, head of the Manhattan Project, and the founder of modern theoretical physics in America, became a friend of the Tolman’s while in his 20s, staying at their guest house during his time spent going between Caltech and UC Berkeley. Robert and Ruth were rumored to have had a long-running affair, which was disavowed by those who knew them, but recent books have renewed that debate. It is known that Ruth destroyed many of his letters, although some have come to light. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Peter Hollander.

The Open Mind is a collection of eight lectures regarding the relationship between science and culture delivered by J. Robert Oppenheimer during the decade following the Second World War. The book begins with a report on atomic explosives made in May 1946, less than a year after the development of the first atomic bomb, and closes with Oppenheimer's now-famous view of the world's arts and sciences featured in the concluding lecture at Columbia University's Bicentennial, delivered in 1955.

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