Pragmatism and the American Mind: Essays and Reviews in Philosophy and Intellectual History

By Morton White | Go to book overview

IN PRAISE OF CIVILIZED MEN

22. The Open Mind of Robert Oppenheimer1

A reader like the present one, who believes that the Oppenheimer case produced one of the great injustices of our time, might be tempted to seize his book, The Open Mind, as an occasion for defending him once again, for pointing out the large number of instances in which Oppenheimer vigorously attacked the policy of the Soviet Union, and for emphasizing the extent to which his career as a scientific statesman brought him into direct conflict with the Russians on the international politics of the bomb. Yet it is well to resist this temptation here, not only because of the absurdity of trying to reargue the case in a few paragraphs after so many thousand pages have been devoted to it, but also because yielding to the temptation would be extremely unfair to the author of a book that deserves serious consideration in its own right.

In this book Dr. Oppenheimer has brought together eight essays, four of which state his views on the tortured problem

____________________
1
This first appeared as a review of Robert Oppenheimer's book of essays The Open Mind ( New York, 1955), in The New Leader, Volume XXXIX ( 30 January 1956), pp. 25-26, copyright é The American Labor Conference on International Affairs, Inc. It is reprinted, with a few minor changes, by permission.

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