Robert Oppenheimer loved women, racing trains in his powerful car, riding through storms on his boat, and galloping along the roads of New Mexico. Above all, he loved physics because it awakened in him the philosopher, the poet. A rich poet, a philosopher concerned about the future of the poor, a philanthropist who financed the Communist Party and the International Brigades fighting against Franco in Spain. So, when in 1942 General Groves chose him to direct research on the creation of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, the secret services, counter-espionage and the FBI joined forces to prevent the appointment of a communist. Groves resisted, convinced of Robert Oppenheimer’s loyalty. Three years later, after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Oppenheimer’s fame and influence are immense. For all, he became “Doctor Atomic”. But this intellectual, sensitive to art and humanistic demands, became aware of the responsibility of science and opposed the desire to divert it to the benefit of the army. He makes powerful enemies within the military-industrial complex, which devises a trap to bring him down.
Ils ont tué Oppenheimer plunges us into the heart of the Cold War and the fearsome dialogue between science and power. It is the book of a world tilt, generated by the arms race, but also the more intimate book of a blurred man, both victim and executioner, symbol of the scientist tormented by the moral consequences of his discoveries. Virginie Ollagnier makes Robert Oppenheimer a formidable fictional character.