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Paperback | $36.00 Short | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780262740227 | 528 pp. | 6.125 x 9.25 in | May 1999

Endless Frontier

Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century


As a young professor at MIT in the 1920s, Vannevar Bush (1890-1974) did seminal work on analog computing and was a co-founder of Raytheon, whose initial success was based on long-lasting radio tubes. But he is best known for his role in Washington during World War II: as President Roosevelt's adviser, he organized the Manhattan Project and oversaw the work of 6,000 civilian scientists designing new weapons. His 1945 report "Science—The Endless Frontier" spurred the creation of a system of public support for university research that endures to this day.

Although he helped to give rise to the military-industrial complex, Bush was a skeptical observer of the interplay between science and politics. He warned against the dangers of an arms race and led a failed effort to halt testing of the hydrogen bomb. This balanced and gracefully written biography brings to life an American original and his times.


"Deeply informed and insightful, Zachary has thoroughly captured the spirit of Bush and his times.", Thomas P. Hughes, The New York Times Book Review

"This fascinating biography...will probably become the standard work on Bush and remain so for years to come.", Roger Bridgman, The New Scientist