PROF: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF FREDERICK LINDEMANN – Buy it here
Frederick Lindemann, Viscount Cherwell, is one of the most influential yet least-known figures of the twentieth century. Born in 1886 into a wealthy family of German origin, he became Winston Churchill’s scientific adviser and close friend and reached the very pinnacle of political, scientific and social life in Britain. Lindemann – or “Prof” as he was widely known – was raised in Devon and educated in Berlin and Paris. He championed and befriended Einstein. During the First World War he repeatedly risked his own life – and saved many others – in demonstrating how to escape from aeroplane spin. And, between the wars, he established, almost from scratch, Oxford University’s international reputation in physics. During the 1930s Lindemann campaigned strenuously against appeasement and moved to the centre of policy-making when he joined the Cabinet. He was described by R. A. Butler as “that sharp-witted, sharp-tongued, pertinacious and more than slightly conspiratorial character who has long been Churchill’s closest friend and confidant”. As such, he advised on all the central issues of the war, including the U-boat threat, the bombing of Germany, the V-weapon peril and the creation of the atom bomb. Lindemann’s private life was a closed book. His arrogant wit and supreme confidence in his own judgement brought him many enemies and few friends. But no other scientist in history has achieved more political power. His remarkable contribution in both spheres remains unparalleled.
PUBLISHER: Jonathan Cape
PUBLICATION DATE: 23rd October 2003
View all Books