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Man of the Hour: James B. Conant, Warrior Scientist
September 27, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
A Rainy Day Books author event hosted and co-sponsored by the Linda Hall Library.
The remarkable life of one of the most influential men of the greatest generation, James B. Conant—a savvy architect of the nuclear age and the Cold War—told by his granddaughter, New York Times bestselling author Jennet Conant.
James Bryant Conant was a towering figure. He was at the center of the mammoth threats and challenges of the twentieth century. As a young eminent chemist, he supervised the production of poison gas in WWI. As a controversial president of Harvard University, he was a champion of meritocracy and open admissions. As an advisor to FDR, he led the interventionist cause for US entrance in WWII. During that war, Conant was the administrative director of the Manhattan Project, oversaw the development of the atomic bomb and argued that it be used against the industrial city of Hiroshima in Japan. Later, he urged the Atomic Energy Commission to reject the hydrogen bomb, and devoted the rest of his life to campaigning for international control of atomic weapons. As Eisenhower’s high commissioner to Germany, he helped to plan German recovery and was an architect of the United States’ Cold War policy.
Jennet Conant is the author of Man of the Hour: James B. Conant, Warrior Scientist, Navigating a Dangerous Era and the New York Times bestsellers The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington and Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II. She has written for Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, Newsweek, and The New York Times. She lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.
Hardcovers of Man of the Hour: James B. Conant, Warrior Scientist will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of Rainy Day Books. A book signing will immediately follow the lecture.
The event is free and open to the public; however, e-tickets are required.
Parking is free in Library parking lots and along the west side of Holmes Street between 51st and 52nd streets. The main entrance to the Library grounds is on Cherry Street. The Linda Hall Library is not affiliated with UMKC. Parking in all UMKC lots is by permit or meter. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Home page photograph: Inspecting the Hanford, Washington, plutonium facility. From left to right, Vannevar Bush, James Conant, General Leslie Groves, and Colonel Franklin Matthias, construction director for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Image courtesy the Hagley Museum and Library.