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The Radioactive Boy Scout: The True Story of a Boy and His Backyard Nuclear Reactor von [Silverstein, Ken]
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The Radioactive Boy Scout: The True Story of a Boy and His Backyard Nuclear Reactor Kindle Edition

4.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension

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Amazon.de

On June 26, 1995 the people of Golf Manor, Michigan returned from work to find a federal EPA crew dismantling a potting shed in Patty Hahn's back yard. In subsequent days, the crew, wearing protective suits, carted away the refuse in sealed barrels emblazoned with radiation symbols. The EPA workers refused to disclose what was happening, only offering vague reassurance that everything was ok. Ken Silverstein shows that things in Golf Manor were not, in fact, ok. David Hahn, a 17-year-old aspiring Eagle Scout, had constructed the rudiments of a nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard and had contaminated himself and the immediate area with potentially deadly radioactive material. In his brief, briskly-paced account of the events, Silverstein weaves together science, history, and testimony from David and his family in a tale both frightening and tragic.

For David to get so far, Silverstein shows, he had to be the victim of carelessness and neglect at all levels of society. David Hahn's parents were divorced, and David used the separate households to conceal the magnitude of his work. His school teachers paid little heed when David, nicknamed Glow Boy by fellow students, suggested he was collecting radioactive substances. Most alarmingly, corporations and government agencies blithely supplied David with the materials and information he needed to expand his work to dangerous levels. Interspersed with his account of David, Silverstein exposes the culture of deceit surrounding the history of nuclear power, a culture that easily seduced an aspiring young scientist. David was left with little in the way of mentorship other than such one-sided testaments to the benefits of science as his trusted Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments.

The book, which grew out of Silverstein's 1998 story in Harper's Magazine reads like a suspense novel blended with breezy accounts of America's history with the atom. It is, in some ways, a coda for the nuclear age. In his final pages, Silverstein shows that power production from nuclear reactors has slowly ebbed over the last decades, breeder reactors world-wide have been shut down, and public apprehension has finally out-stripped naïve scientific exuberance for atomic energy. But is the danger truly receding? Surprisingly, The Radioactive Boy Scout does not address any changes in security that have evolved from David's incident. In fact, Silverstein hints that David himself may still be dabbling with radioactive materials. In the post 9/11 era, the prospect is even more frightening. --Patrick O'Kelley

Amazon.co.uk

In The Radioactive Boy Scout Kevin Silverstein tells the story of how David Hahn, a 17-year-old aspiring Eagle Scout, had constructed the rudiments of a nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard, thus contaminating himself and the immediate area with potentially deadly radioactive material. On June 26, 1995 the people of Golf Manor, Michigan returned from work to find a federal EPA crew dismantling a potting shed in Patty Hahn's back yard. In subsequent days the crew, wearing protective suits, carted away the refuse in sealed barrels emblazoned with radiation symbols. The EPA workers refused to disclose what was happening, only offering vague reassurance that everything was fine.

In his brief, briskly-paced account of the events, Silverstein weaves together science, history, and testimony from David Hahn and his family in a tale both frightening and tragic. For David to get so far, Silverstein shows that he had to be the victim of carelessness and neglect at all levels of society. David Hahn's parents were divorced and David used the separate households to conceal the magnitude of his work. His school teachers paid little heed when David, nicknamed Glow Boy by fellow students, suggested he was collecting radioactive substances. Most alarmingly, corporations and government agencies blithely supplied David with the materials and information he needed to expand his work to dangerous levels. Interspersed with his account of David, Silverstein exposes the culture of deceit surrounding the history of nuclear power, a culture that easily seduced an aspiring young scientist. David was left with little in the way of mentorship other than such one-sided testaments to the benefits of science as his trusted Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments.

The book, which grew out of Silverstein's 1998 story in Harper's Magazine reads like a suspense novel blended with breezy accounts of America's history with the atom. It is, in some ways, a coda for the nuclear age. In his final pages, Silverstein shows that power production from nuclear reactors has slowly ebbed over the last decades, breeder reactors world-wide have been shut down, and public apprehension has finally out-stripped naïve scientific exuberance for atomic energy. But is the danger truly receding? Surprisingly, The Radioactive Boy Scout does not address any changes in security that have evolved from David's incident. In fact, Silverstein hints that David himself may still be dabbling with radioactive materials. --Patrick O'Kelley, Amazon.com


Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 402 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 240 Seiten
  • Verlag: Random House (2. März 2004)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B000FC1AJS
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #583.570 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Taschenbuch
Als im Sommerloch 2011 die Geschichte vom Hobby-Physiker Richard Handl in die Medien kam, in der er in seiner heimischen Küche ein scharfes Atomsüppchen kredenzen wollte, hat sich bestimmt der eine oder andere an David Hahn erinnert, an den "Radioactive Boyscout". Hahn wollte in den 90er Jahren in einer Hütte einen Brutreaktor bauen, wurde aber gefasst bevor er die ganze Nachbarschaft atomar verseuchen konnte.

Silverstein erzählt die Geschichte von David Hahn auf spannende Art und Weise ohne dabei sensationslüstern zu sein. Dabei zeichnet er liebevoll aber durchaus kritisch ein Portrait eines jungen Menschen, dessen Potential von seiner Umwelt schlicht nicht wahrgenommen und gefördert wurde. Man muss kein Atomphysiker sein um zu verstehen, was Hahn versucht hatte und warum er gescheitert ist. Der Leser erfährt dabei auch eine Menge über die atomare Vergangenheit der USA, beginnend mit dem Radium-Hype über den Chicago-Pile bis zum Abwurf der Atombombem über Hiroshima und Nagasaki. Das Projekt von David wird dabei auf eine derart lebendig geschildert, dass man als Leser fast geneigt wäre den jungen Mann anzufeuern, und immer wieder wundert man sich, dass nicht mehr passiert ist.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.5 von 5 Sternen 118 Rezensionen
98 von 107 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Disappointing 5. April 2007
Von Bernard K. Skoch - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I have no quarrel with anti-nuclear books or thoughts, but this book presents itself as "The frightening true story of a whiz kid and his homemade nuclear reactor." It's not.

The author spends far too much time criticizing nuclear power and oddly enough, the Boy Scouts, and far too little on the actual incident that led to the story.

Silverstein's anti-nuclear slant is obvious. Chapter 2 (sarcastically titled "From the Radium Craze to the Soaring Sixties: Science Conquers All") is a criticism of all things nuclear, including Hiroshima, the Atomic Energy Commission, using nuclear energy to generate electricity, and the Cold War.

Writing about the Boy Scouts' "Atomic Energy" merit badge booklet, he says "Such was the pronuke slant of the pamphlet that it...was authored by a group of nuclear-power advocates." (Who else would the Boy Scouts ask to write it?) He continued "The Boy Scouts systematically whitewashed the many problems encountered by nuclear power."

Silverstein devotes nearly a full chapter to criticizing the Boy Scouts as an insitution. He writes "The Boy Scouts have always claimed to be apolitical, but the group has had a decidedly right wing character." He devotes a page to reciting a cynical poem that mocks the Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared" with lines like "Be prepared to hold your liquor pretty well" and "Keep those reefers hidden...when the Scoutmaster's around, for he will only insist that they be shared. Be prepared!" What's the point of that?

Siverstein also states "So shameless and enduring was [the Boy Scouts'] shilling for nuclear power the the scouts later helped the industry turn the partial core meltdown and mass evacuation of Three Mile Island into a marketing opportunity." (He later acknowedges that Three Mile Island produced zero fatalities and resulted in the precautionary evacuation of only pregnant women and small children.)

The book is not about a "radioactive Boy Scout." It is a critique of nuclear power and the Boy Scouts. He of course has every right to express those thoughts, but I felt deceived and cheated out of my $13.95.

(I Google'd the book's author, "Ken Silverstein." You might want to as well.)
129 von 143 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen From his former Scoutmaster 4. August 2007
Von Mr. Scoutmaster - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I was David's scoutmaster when he was preparing for his Eagle Scout Board of Review. I was to contact five registered adult Scout leaders, who would comprise the Board. One prospective adult told me he could not sit on the Board, because "something happened".

I learned that David and some friends were stopped by the cavaliering Clinton Township (Michigan) Police, who were randomly stopping teens and searching their cars for stolen tires.

David was not allowed to keep his experiments in his stepmother's home, so he kept everything in his car trunk. The cops found no tires, but saw his stuff and overreacted.

Days later, David's father phoned and said that David would no longer pursue the Eagle Scout rank.

A month or so later, a man claiming to be a reporter phoned my home, wanting to do a telephone interview about David. After a few moments, I refused. There was something negative about the line of questioning.

As a Scout, David was always clean-cut, polite, and well-liked by the other boys. My take is that David had the scientific curiosity of a Tesla or Edison; not of an evil prankster.

David's father, like so many divorced and re-married men, walked a tightrope between caring for his son and appeasing a new bride.

As for Mr. Silverstein, he should keep his story factual, and keep his opinions about Scouting to the editorial pages.
53 von 56 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good story but contains technical errors 9. März 2007
Von Salvatore F. Russo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I found it fascinating to read about the exploits of David Hahn and his ability to acquire and experiment with radioactive materials. Ken Silverstein has done a good job of including pertinent scientific background with the personal story of David.

My main criticism is that there are several errors in the technical chemistry provided in the book: For example, vinegar is 5% acetic acid (not 30%). Canthaxanthin is not a steroid. Electromotive force creates centrifugal force which then allows for the separation of U-235 and U-238. The combined number of protons and neutrons in a nucleus is called the mass number. When David used a charcoal grill inside the shed, the chief hazard was carbon monoxide (not carbon dioxide). Tyrosine is an amino acid (not an enzyme). Carboxylic acid refers to a class of compounds. Cesium-137 undergoes beta decay (not gamma ray emission). Also, the author confuses volatility with reactivity. It is unfortunate that the text was not reviewed by a chemist who could have pointed out these errors prior to publication.
63 von 70 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Fascinating Story 15. März 2004
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book's title immediately caught my attention. Since I've been working in the nuclear field as a radiation dosimetry specialist for almost 30 years now, I couldn't help but to wonder what this young man could have done to be the subject of a book with such a title. So, I bought the book out of curiosity and read it with intense fascination. It became clear to me that this young man is gifted; and if his efforts could be properly focused, he could do great things. The book is a page turner. It is well written and in an engaging style. The author weaves a truly riveting story - and a true one on top of that. Unfortunately, the book has two shortcomings, i.e., the reasons for four stars instead of five. First of all, there are technical errors; here are only two examples: Roentgen discovered x rays in 1895 and not in 1896 as indicated on page 30; also, and more importantly, the statement on page 159 that beta particles from tritium can penetrate one or two centimeters of human flesh is grossly incorrect. In fact, the most energetic beta particles emitted by the tritium nucleus cannot even penetrate the skin's dead cell layer on the outer surface of the skin - they are simply not fast enough to give a radiation dose even to the skin, let alone deeper human flesh. The second shortcoming is the book's anti-nuke flavor. Tongue-in-cheek statements that tend to put into question the competence of engineers and scientists who are trying to improve the human condition should be replaced by statements that put as much emphasis on the successes and breakthroughs, as on the errors and misjudgments; otherwise a very misleading, erroneous and biased impression may be acquired by those simply wishing to learn the facts. At any rate, it is not my intent to belabor these points. This book presents a truly exciting story and will not disappoint; but by no means should it be used as an accurate historical or technical reference in nuclear science.
34 von 37 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen From his former Scoutmaster 4. August 2007
Von Mr. Scoutmaster - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I was David's scoutmaster when he was preparing for his Eagle Scout Board of Review. I was to contact five registered adult Scout leaders, who would comprise the Board. One prospective adult told me he could not, because "something happened".

I learned that David and some friends were stopped by the cavaliering Clinton Township (Michigan) Police, who were randomly stopping teens and searching their cars for stolen tires.

David was not allowed to keep his experiments in his stepmother's home, so he kept everything in his car trunk. The cops found no tires, but saw his stuff and overreacted.

Days later, David's father phoned and said that David would no longer pursue the Eagle Scout rank.

A month or so later, a man claiming to be a reporter phoned my home, wanting to do a telephone interview about David. After a few moments, I refused. There was something negative about the line of questioning.

As a Scout, David was always clean-cut, polite, and well-liked by the other boys. My take is that David had the scientific curiosity of a Tesla or Edison; not of an evil prankster.

David's father, like so many divorced and re-married men, walked a tightrope between caring for his son and appeasing a new bride.

For Mr. Silverstein should keep his story factual, and keep his opinions about Scouting to the editorial pages.
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