The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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Overview

A gripping, authoritative account of the men, women, science, drama and intrigue behind the single most important event of the century: the discovery of nuclear energy and construction of the atomic bomb. 32 pages of black-and-white photographs.

"...the best overview of the century's pivotal event...a probing analysis of what it means for the future..."--New York Times Book Review

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Making of the Atomic Bomb

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Overview

A gripping, authoritative account of the men, women, science, drama and intrigue behind the single most important event of the century: the discovery of nuclear energy and construction of the atomic bomb. 32 pages of black-and-white photographs.

"...the best overview of the century's pivotal event...a probing analysis of what it means for the future..."--New York Times Book Review

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This winner of the NBCC, NBA and Pulitzer prizes is being published to coincide with the 50th anniversaries of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the hardcover publication of Rhodes's new book, Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb.
Library Journal
s a massive work dealing with the history of the people and the science that preceded and then made possible the development of the atomic bomb. Heavily biographical, the book provides portraits of the many players from Szilard and Einstein to Oppenheimer. Rhodes includes detailed explanations of the various scientific discoveries beginning in the late 19th century which culminated in the Manhattan Project. The book is heavily documented and includes a 13-page bibliography. This is a definitive work, well written, with a gripping story. It is not an easy book to read, but it is well worth the effort. BOMC alternate. Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671441333
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 2/1/1987
  • Pages: 928

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    They Dropped A BOMB!

    I was first introduced to this book as a Freshman in college when I took an interim class entitled, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb". Our class met some of the surviving crew who had participated in the designing, making and implementing of the bomb. The class and the book afforded me the opportunity to be privy to information that few in our society take to heart...and I am grateful to have had the experience.

    The book can be very technical and one must be determined to make the effort to dig into it, as the rewards are well worth it. Making of the Atomic Bomb details many aspects of history's "game changer". It provides astonishing background information not only about the making of the bomb, but it interestingly treks into the personal lives of those who had a role to play in upping the ante of our scientific pursuits.

    Very well written, informative, more than thought provoking! A must read if one wants to gain a deeper understanding about the consequences of risky and/or dangerous pursuits. An excellent academic endeavor if one wants to do more than understand history, psychology and human nature as a whole!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    If You Want to Know the History of the Bomb, Look No Further

    A book that wins a Pulitzer Prize is undoubtedly well-written and well-researched, and the Making of the Atomic Bomb lives up to its prize. I have never before read such a thorough history of the atomic bomb, or of any other topic for that matter. This book's 900+ pages explain in great detail the science behind the bomb, its development and construction, and its use against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of its sheer size, for those not deeply interested in the topic, the book might simply be too much. Even being a history buff, there were times when I wondered what I was reading had anything to do with the atomic bomb. I think that's mostly because, as I said, the science behind the bomb is explained in great detail. So, I just want to warn history buffs out there that this book is not purely history - it is also scientific, and at times it can be tedious (but it is never difficult to understand). That in of itself should not keep you from reading this book, however. Usually, the scientific explanations themselves are not tedious, but important and helpful in understanding how the atomic bombs was developed and is able to work. And its historical value overrides any scientific tediousness that is present. The experiments that proved such a bomb was possible, the Manhattan Project, the German and Japanese atomic bomb programs (the latter overlooked in most publications), the testing of the first bomb, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their aftermath - all of these events are described and explained in a relatively unbiased way. The book's "sticking to the facts" and lack of a thesis (it is a narrative, not a persuasive essay) makes it better, as it allows the reader to form their own opinions about the atomic bomb. A very interesting and very important read indeed.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    one of best works of non-fiction I have ever read

    I rarely read books that so seamlessly integrate biography, history, and science. Rhodes tells the most captivating version of the events leading up to something that everyone should read about.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2008

    The Making of the Atomic by: Richard Rhodes

    I am writing a review on "The Making of the Atomic " by Richard Rhodes. The book was the winner of The Pulitzer Prize, The National Book Award, and The National Book Critics Circle Award rightfully so. This book is a tremendous resource if one is trying to find out about the Atomic in all its aspects. It covers the dropping of the Atomic on Hiroshima to the building of the Atomic to the splitting of the atoms before the Manhattan Project officially began. It talks about the different people who were vital to the success of the secretive project, such as General Groves, Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, and many others. I would strongly suggest reading this book if you are fascinating with the Atomic and the complicity it took to produce one. It also described in great detail the different facilities that were vital to the success of making an Atomic . Two of these are Los Alamos, Nevada, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. These plants staffed over 100,000 people but yet only a handful actually knew what they were working on. This book should not be read by anyone who has not taken biology, chemistry, and physics in high school due to the complexity of the formulas and science vocabulary. I will admit that the book got a little dry at times but overall I enjoyed it very much. I suggest you take a look at it when given the chance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    Alright look, I'll level with you. I read this book as part of my main grade 11 chemistry assignment and I admit I underestimated the depth and complexity of 'The Making of the Atomic Bomb'. Normally I really enjoy books that explore all the events and details but...this particular book requires a level of understanding and patience that you probably wouldn't find in a casual reader of the genre. Having said that, Richard Rhodes, the author, does an amazing job at accuratly describing one of the most important events in mankind's history in glorius detail. The writing style is one you would expect from a non-fiction history book. Very formal, dialoge is restricted to interviews. As such, there isn't much character development, but considering the purpose of the novel it doesn't really matter. To a younger audiance it could be percieved as either a classic or a horrible mistake. The plot itself is structered around the discoveries of the atom and the theories and speculations of it's potential.It later develops as a race between the Allies and Axis to discover it's lethal secrets before the other can master it's destructive power. I would recommend this book to either a fan of the genre, someone who adores science, or a history buff trying to include nuclear history in his/her area of expertise. I would NOT recommend this book to a light or casual reader of the genre or somebody who doesn't have at least a basic grasp of science. This book can be enjoyed by people other then the 'hardcore' readers of the genre. It may just require some effort to persevere through the complexities of the subject. In short an amazingly good read and a fasinating look at one of the most important discoveries of our time...I just wish I were a bit older. I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2001

    one of the best (ever)

    Recommended to me (et al) well over a decade ago by Prof. Fred Schell in some grad school chem class at UTK, this remains one of my favorite books. The historical and scientific accuracy is very good, and the writing is good enough to read like a novel. The downside is that it is not an 'easy read' for 'laypersons'. The author obviously assumes that the reader has an actual functioning brain, and is not afraid to use it. There is some actual math involved.(Yow!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    A captivating ride through history and discovery

    It is hard to imagine how much effort likely went into the research and development for this book. Though its size may seem daunting at first glance, the story is gripping enough to make it read like butter. Fully entertaining for both the layperson and the scientist.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2000

    Absolutely Fabulous

    The book details the development of the fission bomb beginning with the earliest discoveries in atomic physics by Rutherford and others. The book provides many details of the poitical history behind the development of the bomb. As a scientist, I was also impressed by the technical content of the book. Rhodes does a fabulous job of depicting the scientific and engineering difficulties with which the bomb's inventors had to contend. A fascinating report of one of the most fascinating events of the 20th century.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 1999

    An amazing account of the manhattan prog

    This book is truly remarkable. It reads like a novel yet is full of historical information and first hand accounts. Mr. Rhodes has completed a truly superhuman effort and has made me a real nonfiction fan. I immediatedly bought The Dark Sun and have the same opinion of that work as well. An absolute must read. The best non fiction I have ever read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    Hood

    Gives her bandaid

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Puka

    Rubs her bleeding wrists

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Hood

    Bye frown

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    This is one of the best books I have ever read, fiction or nonfi

    This is one of the best books I have ever read, fiction or nonfiction. "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" is thoroughly researched and beautifully written, a terrific intellectual adventure. Rhodes not only tells the story of the revolution in physics that led to the bomb, but also examines the evolution of warfare to a state where such a weapon could be built and used. The writing is gorgeous and language is powerful: the close of chapter 4, "The Long Grave Already Dug" still sends chills down my spine more than 20 years after reading this book. It will change the way you think about the world. Be sure and read the footnotes too; they are chock-full of interesting information.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2009

    One of the best books every written

    Richard Rhodes does an excellant job with this book-undoubtly one of the greatest books every written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 22, 2012

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    Posted January 14, 2014

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    Posted April 2, 2013

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted May 12, 2014

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    Posted December 3, 2013

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