Robert Jungk’s Main Writings


Robert Jungk was a highly active, extraordinary writer. Various editions of his books have been translated into many different languages.

The German publisher Rowohlt Verlag reprinted five of Robert Jungk’s books in 2016:


  • Die Zukunft hat schon begonnen: Amerikas Allmacht und Ohnmacht
  • Heller als tausend Sonnen: Das Schicksal der Atomforscher
  • Strahlen aus der Asche: Geschichte einer Wiedergeburt
  • Der Jahrtausendmensch: Bericht aus den Werkstätten der neuen Gesellschaft
  • Der Atom-Staat: Vom Fortschritt in die Unmenschlichkeit.

Die Zukunft hat schon begonnen, 1952
Tomorrow is Already Here, 1954

Jungk’s reports about weapons laboratories, about secret nuclear plants and atomic bomb tests stirred up humankind. His critique of American scientific and cultural development had a major impact on public debate. He wrote that “the future is no fantasy cleanly distinguished from actual life: the future has already begun. But it still can, if recognized in time, be changed” (p. 19).

Albert Schweitzer. Das Leben eines guten Menschen, 1955
Albert Schweitzer. The Life of a Great Man, 1955

This biography of Albert Schweitzer – written under the pseudonym Jean Pierhal – is a critique of modern faith in progress.

Heller als tausend Sonnen, 1956
Brighter Than a Thousand Suns, 1958

This is the first published account of the Manhattan Project and German attempts on building a nuclear bomb. Jungk studied the making and dropping of the bomb from the viewpoints of the scientists, largely based on personal interviews. The “arbitrary and unnatural separation of scientific research from the reality of the individual personality” stroke him as a prerequisite for “the creation of such monstrosities as the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb” (1982 paperback ed., p. 13).

Strahlen aus der Asche, 1959
Children of the Ashes, 1961

Jungk’s widely translated best seller about the fallout of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a testimony against nuclearism. Writing against the nuclear arms race and the imminent nuclear world war subsequently established his international reputation as an author.

Die große Maschine. Auf dem Weg in eine andere Welt, 1966
The big machine, 1968

A positive report on the CERN project that Robert Jungk eventually came to regret because he was overly optimistic regarding the „peaceful use“ of nuclear technology.

Der Jahrtausendmensch, 1973
The Everyman Project, 1976

This optimistic book is subtitled A World Report on the Resources for a Humane Society. Its main thesis: real treasures do not lay in the ground; real resources are within us. But most of those resources are neglected because human development is seen only as educational development.

Der Atomstaat, 1977
The Nuclear State (UK)/The New Tyranny (US), 1979

For a long time, the public was lulled by the enormous care allegedly taken to avoid serious accidents, sabotage and leaking of radiation, about the inherent danger of radiation. Jungk was among the first authors who proved that these assurances are not true and that the nature of the technology itself makes further accidents inevitable. This devastating indictment of the nuclear industry claims that military and peaceful usage of nuclear energy is inseparable. The risks of nuclear energy do not only threaten our health and well-being, but our democracy as well.

Zukunftswerkstätten, 1981
Future Workshops, 1987

A technique originally developed by Robert Jungk together with Norbert Müllert as a method for people and citizen groups with limited resources to get involved in the processes that would shape their social and technological futures ­­– since the future is best built by the ones most affected!

Menschenbeben, 1983 [Humanquake]

The so-called NATO Double-Track Decision – it intended the deployment of nuclear U.S. Cruise Missiles in Western Europe, threatening to intensify the Cold War – caused a new global peace movement. Robert Jungk describes it as a “humanquake”.

Und Wasser bricht den Stein, 1986 [And Water Splits the Rock]

Controversial contributions on pressing issues of the time – a collection of all articles Robert Jungk published in the professional journal Bild der Wissenschaft. His personal annotations on his articles, added more than two decades later, make for an intriguing reading.

Projekt Ermutigung, 1988 [The Encouragement Project]

A summary of Robert Jungk’s ideas for a humane future and technology. Referring to the French Revolution, he hopes for an Encouragement Project.

Zukunft zwischen Angst und Hoffnung, 1990 [Future Between Fear and Hope]


A plea for political imagination. This anthology offers a representative cross-section of Jungk’s work since the 1960s. It is proof for his commitment to the spiritual and human development of society and holds proposals for solutions to the pressing questions of humanity’s survival.

Trotzdem. Mein Leben für die Zukunft
, 1992 [Nevertheless. My Life for the Future]

Robert Jungk’s autobiography gives insights into his eventful life. At the same time, it is a vivid mirror of an eventful century.

Gestern ist heute, 2011 [Yesterday is Today]


Controversial, and – as of this day – highly topical debates between German physicist and science writer, Heinz Haber, and his friend, Robert Jungk, published 30 years later by Wolfram Huncke, a long-term editor-in-chief of Bild der Wissenschaft.

Additional writings, publications where Robert Jungk was an editor, publisher and/or contributor, and some books honoring Robert Jungk’s work.


Who was Robert Jungk?
More about …
… his life
… his stand against nuclear energy
… key theses of his work
… his engagement with the new social movements
… Future Workshops