January 28, 2022

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Martin Sherwin, Prize-winning Biographer of Oppenheimer, Dies at 84

Martin Sherwin, Prize-winning Biographer of Oppenheimer, Dies at 84

Reviewing “American Prometheus,” Janet Maslin of The New York Instances described it as “a piece of voluminous scholarship and lucid perception, unifying its multifaceted portrait with a eager grasp of Oppenheimer’s important nature.”

That nature, she wrote, expressed itself in “allure and bravado on the floor, Dostoyevskian darkness beneath.”

Martin Jay Sherwin was born on July 2, 1937, in Brooklyn to Harold and Mimi (Karp) Sherwin. His father was a youngsters’s clothes producer, and his mom was a homemaker who labored as a secretary to assist pay for her son’s faculty tuition.

After graduating from James Madison Excessive Faculty, he enrolled in Dartmouth desiring to pursue a profession in medication, then dabbled in geology and philosophy. He ended up graduating with a bachelor’s diploma in historical past in 1959.

He served within the Navy as an intelligence officer in Japan and Hawaii, then earned a doctorate in diplomatic historical past in 1971 on the College of California, Los Angeles. His dissertation grew to become the idea for “A World Destroyed,” his first ebook, which prompt that President Harry S. Truman’s determination to make use of atomic weapons had much less to do with ending the conflict than with intimidating the Soviets.

In 1980, Dr. Sherwin joined the school of Tufts College, the place he established the Nuclear Age Historical past and Humanities Heart. He and Evgeny Velikhov, a Russian physicist, arrange a project through which college students and students at Tufts and Moscow State College got here collectively by satellite tv for pc TV. Dr. Sherwin retired from Tufts in 2007 as professor emeritus. He additionally taught at George Mason and Princeton Universities.

Along with his spouse, Susan (Smukler) Sherwin, he’s survived by a son, Alex; a sister, Marjorie Sherwin; and 4 grandchildren. His daughter, Andrea Sherwin, died of most cancers in 2010.

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