Book 0146

Command the Morning by Pearl Buck

Donated by Viki Johnson-Oakley, who says...

I don’t recall how I stumbled across this book, but this is one of the most moving books I’ve ever read. Told from a female scientist’s perspective the book charts the unfolding Manhattan Project, and the moral dilemmas faced by scientists once they realized the atomic bomb was a reality. Command the Morning also provides a desperately real picture of what it would have been like to be a female scientist in the 1930s and 40s. But, it still highlights, tragically, how far we still need to go in terms of gender equality. Pearl Buck was a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, but I think this is one of her lesser know works.

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  1. I was interested to read this book because throughout my career working in Computer Science, I have campaigned for more girls and women in STEM. Recalling the recent fuss made when Nobel scientist Tim Hunt said that female scientists cause trouble for men in labs, it does seems that at least there are more women who work in science these days who are prepared to speak out for equal respect for their work as scientists. This book was an interesting account of how the atomic bomb was produced, and it was insightful in revealing how scientists and engineers collaborate with industry and the military on large projects.