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Few great discoveries have evolved so swiftly - or have been so misunderstood. From the theoretical discussions of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity, there was a span of hardly more than 25 years. What began as merely an interesting speculative problem in physics grew into the Manhattan Project and then into the bomb with frightening rapidity, while scientists known only to their peers - Szilard, Teller, Oppenheimer, Bohr, Meitner, Fermi, Lawrence, and yon Neumann - stepped from their ivory towers into the limelight.
Richard Rhodes takes us on that journey step by step, minute by minute, and gives us the definitive story of man's most awesome discovery and invention. The Making of the Atomic Bomb has been compared in its sweep and importance to William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It is at once a narrative tour de force and a document as powerful as its subject.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 03-15-16
Wow... Grade A+ ... Exceptional.
This book has some dense topics and could get bogged down in explanations. But instead it flows effortlessly.
Politics, physics, engineering, culture, warfare, isolationism, human factors, history...
All explained thoroughly, smoothly, and entertainingly!
At no point does it feel like you are learning physics. But he starts by giving a good solid entertaining history of the physics needed for the later engineering and political discussions.
I listen to many nonfiction audiobooks and I've never heard Holter Graham before. But he is immediately one of my very favorites. He does a wonderful job keeping the material fun.
This book won every non-Fiction award and still stands up today. If you are interested in this topic you will not find a better book than this. There is no acceptable reason not to select this book if you like this topic.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Kurt Schwoppe on 01-29-17
20 Kilotons of Information
This book is the unquestionable standard for understanding ALL the events leading up to the detonation of the first Atomic bomb and its subsequent use against Japan. The details are all here. It starts from the very beginning when physicists were just starting to arrange elements on the periodic table and ends when Hirohito realizes the futility of going forward with the war, thereby saving his country from further despair. It's a well written book, but it ended too early. As you learn, the fission explosions at Trinity and elsewhere were literally just a precursor for what the atomic scientists called "The Super". And surprising to me, the plans were already on the board when Trinity lit up the morning sky over New Mexico. I think we need a equally well written book as to how Trinity evolved into the Titian 2 program with 9 Megaton warheads ready to strike anywhere in the world.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful