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The making of the atomic bomb /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Simon & Schuster, 1986
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Part 1Profound and Necessary Truth
2Atoms and Void
4The Long Grave Already Dug
5Men from Mars
8Stirring and Digging
9An Extensive Burst
Part 2A Peculiar Sovereignty
11Cross Sections
12A Communication from Britain
13The New World
14Physics and Desert Country
15Different Animals
17The Evils of This Time
Part 3Life and Death
19Tongues of Fire

Review by Choice Review

This is a book that should be appreciated by a wide general audience. In what is the first comprehensive story of the atomic bomb, Rhodes leads readers through a wonderfully complex maze of historical coincidence, scientific discovery, and the geopolitics of the mid 20th century. Rhodes's thesis is that the bomb, the most dramatic creation of our time, was a product of scientific research stretching back to the early 20th century, of the personality quirks of scientists, and of the needs of wartime strategists. That the US won the first atomic race was also a product of accident and cleverness. For example, Germany's atomic research was slowed both by the inability of German leaders to understand the bomb's potential early on and of the Allies' ability to sabotage Germany's atomic capacity. Rhodes also notes that even the Japanese had an infant atomic program, something that will surprise many readers. The great achievement of Rhodes is the way in which he weaves the material together. The bomb was not just a scientific accomplishment, although the author uses great skill in making the science and the excitement of discovery plain for even the most scientifically illiterate reader. Rhodes brings all the pieces together, leaving his audience with the whole story and with a real sense of pleasure of having read history at its best. Highly recommended for all libraries.-N.R. Eder, Pacific Northwest College of Art

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

Focusing on the people behind the microscopes and in front of the blackboards, Rhodes tells the story of the atomic bomb as it has never been told before: with painstaking scientific detail and with infectious respect for the mysteries of the physical world.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The breadth and scope of this gripping narrative is almost as impressive as the story itself. Rhodes ( Looking for America describes the theoretical origins of the bomb, the lab experiments, the building of the prototype, the test at Alamagordo, the training of the B-29 crews assigned to deliver the first two combat bombs and the missions themselves. There's much more. Rhodes, gifted with sharp psychological insight and a novelist's ability to convey character, reveals the personalities and emotional dynamics among Niels Bohr, Leo Szilard, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, Ernest Lawrence, Robert Oppenheimer, General Leslie Groves, Colonel Paul Tibbets and others responsible for conceiving, engineering, testing and ultimately dropping the apocalyptic devices on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In addition he describes the struggle in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to make the first bomb, as well as the political and military events that led inexorably to the destruction of the Japanese cities. This is the most comprehensive and authoritative book on the subject to date. Illustrations. BOMC alternate. (February) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

This is a massive work dealing with the history of the people and the science that preceded and then made possible the development of the atomic bomb. Heavily biographical, the book provides portraits of the many players from Szilard and Einstein to Oppenheimer. Rhodes includes detailed explanations of the various scientific discoveries beginning in the late 19th century which culminated in the Manhattan Project. The book is heavily documented and includes a 13-page bibliography. This is a definitive work, well written, with a gripping story. It is not an easy book to read, but it is well worth the effort. BOMC alternate. Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, Cal. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Richard Lee Rhodes is a writer. He was born in Kansas City, Kansas on July 4, 1937. Rhodes received a B.A. from Yale University in 1959.

Rhodes has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He began writing articles and essays that appeared in Harper's, Reader's Digest, Esquire, The New Yorker, and Rolling Stone. Rhodes first book, The Island Ground, was published in 1970. He has written more than two dozen books. Rhodes' book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction, the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction. Another book, Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1996.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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