Treasure trove of snippets

One of the most valuable books on the history of nuclear stuff is the 1989 opus by AEC official historians, Richard Hewlett & Jack Holl: Atoms for Peace and War, 1953-1961: Eisenhower and the Atomic Energy Commission. (A History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Vol. III) (California Studies in the History of Science). You can now even buy it as an expensive Kindle ebook!

Hewlett & Holl (1989)

A distinct pleasure of this book is the presence, on every page, of tiny insights. On page 193, the authors paraphrase a filenote of a call from an AEC commissioner to Willis Gale, the head of giant utility, Commonwealth Edison: “Gale made it clear that he was not interested in sending a few engineers to work under Rickover…” Even then, in the middle of 1953, before Admiral Hyman Rickover became famous, his reputation as an unholy tyrant made him a person the private sector shunned.

This kind of archival morsel is not worth including in a historical book or article but is one of my reading pleasures.