As with genre fiction, mainstream (i.e. non-academic) history need only possess clear prose. The point is the history, the story, the organization, the data. Virtuosic stylistics, if they arise, are a bonus. So when you find a historian whose writing is a pleasure to read, savor her, my friends, savor her. My go-to paragon of evocative history style is Richard Rhodes but another author I’ve. . .
Walter Zinn’s words amidst twelve pages of dense technical verbiage: “It may be acceptable in the early development of the industry to place as the first goal reactor power plants which are competitive in an economic sense with the coal-fired plants. Success in this inevitably will bring a demand for an increased utilization of the nuclear raw material. … It is equally clear that in. . .
It’s January 1956. American physicist Walter Zinn is about to leave the laboratory he founded a decade earlier, Argonne, situated on the outskirts of Chicago. Argonne now has 2,314 staff! He pens a formal-sounding memorandum to most of his direct reports, asking them to attend a series of eight 10 AM meetings to be held over three weeks. They’re all busy folks. He is, as always. . .
The inertia theory of technology development
In 1957 Latin American nuclear scientists came to a bonding and education conference at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island near New York. Not much from that conference seems to have survived, at least outside American archives, but Nucleonics, the industry’s trade journal, reported on a speech by Alvin Weinberg, Oak Ridge’s supremo. Weinberg had a searching mind, fine. . .