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What did you love best about First War of Physics?
Very well written accounts of the events surrounding WWII and the Cold War.
What did you like best about this story?
The story would focus on the minor interactions and activities within the laboratory, then pan out into the political strife that would stir as a result. Leading with well known historic events, then detailing personal stories of the people involved was truly fascinating.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
This book took a very long time to listen through. It was great for my long commutes to work and weekend travels. This sort of read has taught me to value my traffic time, no joke.
Any additional comments?
As expected, this book is more world/political history than science history, but still a very lean mix of the two. I would recommend this book to anyone of any field, professional or academic.
This book really shines a bright light on a history that was previously unavailable. Baggot has provided a very concise history of the scientific discoveries that set the stage for the Manhattan Project, and documents American, British German and Russian efforts to harness nuclear power. My background as a nuclear engineer allowed me to easily follow the technical discussion, which might be difficult for the general reader.
The main thrust of the book is to try and understand why the great nuclear arms race started, and to discuss the role of the scientists in this. Baggot has done a good job of presenting the issues and personalities of the participants. He gives a good detailed presentations of why German scientists, despite a significant head start on understanding nuclear fission, were not able to make an atomic bomb, and how the Soviet Union successfully infiltrated the Manhattan Project, getting valuable information that allowed them to avoid technical pit falls.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, and Mark Ashby gave an excellent narration. I gave the story 4 stars largely because, as I sighted above, the technical discussion may be difficult for the general reader.