The Making of the Atomic Bomb

  • by Richard Rhodes
  • Narrated by Holter Graham
  • 37 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here for the first time, in rich human, political, and scientific detail, is the complete story of how the bomb was developed, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan.
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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Amazon Customer

Fantastic book, very poor narration

If you could sum up The Making of the Atomic Bomb in three words, what would they be?

Richard Rodes' book is a genuine tour de force, and is an exemplar of detailed popular science. I'm very glad to see it on Audible. I've been waiting for this for a long time.

However... to someone who is even vaguely aware of the story, and the characters and places that are so prominent, the narration is very jarring. The narrator mispronounces about 70-75% of foreign words. It would (indeed should) have been trivially easy to give poor Mr Graham a pronunciation guide.

What other book might you compare The Making of the Atomic Bomb to and why?

Dark Sun, also by Richard Rhodes. It is a continuation of the story told by The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

Would you be willing to try another one of Holter Graham’s performances?

Under duress - for example, if the only unabridged narration of Dark Sun was by him, I would consider it, but PLEASE either educate him on pronunciation or get someone else to narrate it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

This film will disappoint anyone who has read and enjoyed the book. Don't watch it!

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- J. C. Petts

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-09-2016
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio