Charles Oppenheimer and Dorothy Vanderford are the grandchildren of J. Robert Oppenheimer. In this interview with historian Kai Bird, author of American Prometheus, a biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, they discuss what it was like growing up with the Oppenheimer family legacy. They talk about growing up on the Oppenheimer family ranch in New Mexico, Perro Caliente, and how they and their father, Peter Oppenheimer, have dealt with being an Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer and Vanderford also reflect on how the memory of J. Robert Oppenheimer has been treated, the family’s position on the security trial, and their father’s involvement in anti-nuclear marches. They recall meeting some of Robert and Peter’s friends and family, including the Hempelmanns and Frank Oppenheimer, and discuss whether the historical treatment of Kitty is a fair one.
In this interview, Peshkin discusses his time at Los Alamos working under Richard Feynman. He also talks about espionage and his personal connection with David Greenglass. Peshkin goes into moral questions surrounding the Manhattan Project and the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. Finally, he discusses the persecution of many of the Manhattan Project scientists as alleged communists, especially Phillip Morrison.