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Teller Vision

March 18, 1990

Daniel O. Hirsch's review of a biography of Edward Teller reveals that old grudges die hard ("Edward Teller: Giant of the Golden Age of Physics" by Stanley Blumberg and Louis G. Panos, Book Review, Feb. 11).

Most of the review purports to expose errors in the biography and hectors Teller for refusing to share the credit for the implosion principle for the hydrogen bomb.

However, the real reason for the left's harassment of Teller over the years is much more direct: Teller stood against those such as Robert J. Oppenheimer, who opposed development of the "Superbomb." They apparently grew cold to the thermonuclear bomb after the Nazis were defeated and it became apparent that the expansionistic Communist Soviet Union was the ultimate target. Some scientists felt a strange kinship to the Soviet Union after World War II.

Hirsch also apparently diminishes the role of the Rosenberg atomic spy ring in giving the Soviet Union the "Superbomb" technology. For decades, the left has attempted to prove that the Rosenbergs were unjustly punished. To support this thesis, he quibbles over the nature of early Soviet tests of the thermonuclear bomb.

But thank Providence that Teller was able to stand against those who would have hampered the United States' development of the bomb. If Teller and others had failed to stand against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, perhaps today we would not be witnessing the Soviet Union suing for peace and demilitarization.

RALPH W. BALLMER ESCONDIDO

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