The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

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Synopsis

Twenty-five years after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the definitive history of nuclear weapons and the Manhattan Project. From the turn-of-the-century discovery of nuclear energy to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan, Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book details the science, the people, and the socio-political realities that led to the development of the atomic bomb.

This sweeping account begins in the 19th century, with the discovery of nuclear fission, and continues to World War Two and the Americans’ race to beat Hitler’s Nazis. That competition launched the Manhattan Project and the nearly overnight construction of a vast military-industrial complex that culminated in the fateful dropping of the first bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Reading like a character-driven suspense novel, the book introduces the players in this saga of physics, politics, and human psychology—from FDR and Einstein to the visionary scientists who pioneered quantum theory and the application of thermonuclear fission, including Planck, Szilard, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Teller, Meitner, von Neumann, and Lawrence.

From nuclear power’s earliest foreshadowing in the work of H.G. Wells to the bright glare of Trinity at Alamogordo and the arms race of the Cold War, this dread invention forever changed the course of human history, and The Making of The Atomic Bomb provides a panoramic backdrop for that story.

Richard Rhodes’s ability to craft compelling biographical portraits is matched only by his rigorous scholarship. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail that any reader can follow, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a thought-provoking and masterful work.
 

About Richard Rhodes

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Richard Rhodes is the author of twenty books, including novels and works of history, journalism and letters. His The Making of the Atomic Bomb won a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award. Dark Sun, about the development of the hydrogen bomb, was one of three finalists for a Pulitzer Prize in History. A Kansas native, he has frequently explored American history and biography in articles for national magazines. He lives in Half Moon Bay, California.
 
Published September 18, 2012 by Simon & Schuster. 896 pages
Genres: History, War, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Making of the Atomic Bomb

Kirkus Reviews

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A magnificent account of a central reality of our times, incorporating deep scientific expertise, broad political and social knowledge, and ethical insight, and Idled with beautifully written biographical sketches of the men and women who created nuclear physics.

Oct 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

The Wall Street Journal

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Stephen Budiansky recommends "The Making of the Atomic Bomb," by Richard
Rhodes; "The Wizard War," by R.V. Jones; "Codebreakers," edited by F.H. ...

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The New York Review of Books

The slow reactors, larger versions of the assembly of uranium and graphite by which Fermi produced the first chain reaction in December 1942, were now seen as suppliers of bomb material.

Nov 05 1987 | Read Full Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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Sep 10 2009 | Read Full Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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Dec 30 2012 | Read Full Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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I would have to disagree that we have never used a cannon to kill a gnat, with the giant leap of the GOP to the SCOTUS , citing “equal protection under the law”(who the hell believes that one?), after which Dubya employed many of the Supremes judges’ granchildren in high paid (little work) govt j...

Sep 22 2009 | Read Full Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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Nov 25 2011 | Read Full Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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Jun 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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Socrates, ( 382 BC ), denounced these vipers .

Jul 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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