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The Brothers Vonnegut

Nonfiction: Biography
Unabridged   10.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 11/17/2015

The Brothers Vonnegut

Science and Fiction in the House of Magic

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781622319169
Digital Download ISBN:9781622319176


Worlds collide in this true story of weather control in the Cold War era and the making of Kurt Vonnegut

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Product Description

In the mid-1950s, Kurt Vonnegut takes a job in the PR department at General Electric in Schenectady, where his older brother, Bernard, is a leading scientist in its research lab—or "House of Magic." Kurt has ambitions as a novelist, and Bernard is working on a series of cutting-edge weather-control experiments meant to make deserts bloom and farmers flourish.

While Kurt writes zippy press releases, Bernard builds silver-iodide generators and attacks clouds with dry ice. His experiments attract the attention of the government; weather proved a decisive factor in World War II, and if the military can control the clouds, fog, and snow, they can fly more bombing missions. Maybe weather will even be as a headline in American Magazine calls it, "The New Super Weapon." But when the army takes charge of his cloudseeding project (dubbed Project Cirrus), Bernard begins to have misgivings about the use of his inventions for harm, not to mention the evidence that they are causing alarming changes in the atmosphere.

In a fascinating cultural history, Ginger Strand chronicles the intersection of these brothers' lives at a time when the possibilities of science seemed infinite. As the Cold War looms, Bernard's struggle for integrity plays out in Kurt's evolving writing style. The Brothers Vonnegut reveals how science's ability to influence the natural world also influenced one of our most inventive novelists.


"Narrator Sean Runnette has one of those voices that makes every sentence interesting through his inflections so it was a pleasure to listen to him. Kurt and Bernie’s personalities both pop out of the story with the narrator's energetic reading." —Sound Commentary

Author Bio

Ginger Strand is the author of three previous books, including Killer on the Road: Violence and the American Interstate. She has written for a wide variety of publications, including Harpers Magazine, This Land, The Believer, Tin House, The New York Times, and Orion, where she is a contributing editor.