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Willy LeyProphet of the Space Age$
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Jared S. Buss

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054438

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054438.001.0001

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The PM Years and the Science Writers at War

The PM Years and the Science Writers at War

(p.114) 5 The PM Years and the Science Writers at War
Willy Ley

Jared S. Buss

University Press of Florida

Chapter 5 continues the narrative by charting Ley’s role as a weapons expert and journalist during the Second World War. This chapter puts forth a more complex argument surrounding the role of science writers and their perception of a totalitarian menace that fostered irrationalism, authoritarian obedience to a state-issued truth, and cultist deference to pseudoscience. The science writers engaged in a public campaign to save hearts and minds by associating scientific thinking with democratic freedom. They waged a war against totalitarianism, as they simultaneously used the history of science to glorify the anti-authoritarian truth-seekers of the past.

Keywords:   journalism, Second World War, science writers, history of science, Willy Ley

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