Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Making of the Atomic Bomb

Really great book - a mix of the history of science and technology with personalities and social-political forces. It reads like a detective story with questions of morality raised but unanswered. The book is long – 886 pages, but it is definitely worth the effort. I’ve collected a few examples from the book that I really liked. I have not put them in quotes but they all come straight from the book. In some cases I’ve added my footnotes to help understand the selection.

I hope that someone writes a screen play around the struggles that the emigrant scientists had with politicians and the military when they tried to convey the potential of the atomic and later the thermonuclear bombs, and their impacts on political systems.

This is a personal selection of excerpts that appealed to me as I read the book. It’s by no means complete. For an excellent review, read the New York Times book review, “The Men Who Made the Sun Rise” by William J. Broad (

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