Now I am become Hope, the Healer of Nations
Thanks to John Gray I can say, in a sideways allusion to his famous book, that wartime Manhattan displayed both a Mars and a Venus side to its Janus-like character and everyone instantly knows what I mean.
This is a lot easier than saying Manhattan have a Social medicine and War medicine side to its character and then have to offer up a few thousand words and a long history lesson, just to explain what I really mean.
Similarly the made-up quotation that heads this blog post is another sideways allusion --- this time to a very well known quote about Manhattan's best known wartime Project : the death-dealing Atomic Bomb.
Robert Oppenheimer, a Manhattan born and raised boy himself, defined the Bomb's nature (and America's newfound military and diplomatic power) by intoning a famous quotation from Hindu scripture :
"Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds"Manhattan never itself intoned those words or the words at the top of this post - it can't .
But poetically, we can at least imagine that between 1943 and 1945 it did intone both....