Martin J. Sherwin

Martin Jay Sherwin is an author and historian specializing in the development of atomic weapons and nuclear policy. Along with Kai Bird, Sherwin co-wrote American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2006.

Sherwin was born in Brooklyn and studied at Dartmouth College. After four years in the Naval Air Force, Sherwin began graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, receiving a Ph.D. in history in 1971. His dissertation focused on the decision to drop the atomic bomb, and was revised and published in 1975 as A World Destroyed: The Atomic Bomb and the Grand Alliance to much acclaim.

In addition to A World Destroyed and American Prometheus, Sherwin has advised a number of documentaries and television series relating to the Manhattan Project, including The Day after Trinity: A History of Nuclear Strategy, Stalin’s Bomb Maker: Citizen Kurchatov, and War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.

Sherwin has also had a long and distinguished teaching career. In 1988, Sherwin founded the Global Classroom Project, which joined students from the United States and Russia in conversations over issues such as the nuclear arms race. Sherwin is currently a professor emeritus in history at Tufts University and a professor of history at George Mason University.

His collection of more than two dozen interviews and oral histories with Oppenheimer’s colleagues and friends is available on the "Voices of the Manhattan Project" website.

Martin J. Sherwin's Timeline

  • 1937 Jul 2nd Born in Brooklyn, New York.
  • 1959 Received B.A. in History from Dartmouth College.
  • 1971 Received Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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