The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to develop the Atomic Bomb

The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to develop the Atomic Bomb

by Edward T. Sullivan
     
 
When the first atomic bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy," was dropped from the Enola Gay onto Hiroshima on the morning of August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. But the story started long before then, and here Edward T. Sullivan delves into all the advances that led to the making of the most destructive weapons ever invented: the scientific developments of the

Overview

When the first atomic bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy," was dropped from the Enola Gay onto Hiroshima on the morning of August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. But the story started long before then, and here Edward T. Sullivan delves into all the advances that led to the making of the most destructive weapons ever invented: the scientific developments of the Manhattan Project, the massive commitment by the Western world to win the great nuclear arms race, and the contributions to the war effort big or small by all those involved. From bus driver to scientist to spy to the president, Sullivan examines all the key personalities concerned, including Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, President Roosevelt, and many more. The dropping of the bomb, as well as the complicated aftermath is also discussed. In this comprehensive book, featuring several arresting black-and-white photographs of the day, Sullivan offers a broad and compelling look at the atomic bomb and its pronounced effects on our world today.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara Carroll Roberts
Middle school and high school students interested in the history surrounding the development of the first atomic bomb will certainly enjoy this book. Sullivan's research encompasses far more than the usual look at the scientists who led the Manhattan Project. Most notably, he explores the creation of three secret communities—Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico—where thousands of military and civilian workers lived with their families during the three years that they worked on the creation of the first atom bombs. The book is filled with archival photographs and is written in a conversational style. Back matter includes extensive endnotes, a bibliography, and suggestions for further reading, as well as a glossary and index. Reviewer: Barbara Carroll Roberts
VOYA - Melissa Moore
The United States had tried to keep itself neutral while Germany, under Hitler's ruthless leadership, invaded European countries and as Britain and France fought to contain the Nazi regime. But following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. declared war on Japan (and as a result, also on Italy and Germany). The U.S. military began the highly secretive Manhattan Project, the main purpose of which was to beat Germany to the punch and be the first to develop an atomic bomb. Scientists worked side by side with military personnel at three different, top-secret locations (Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico), developing hardware and mining uranium and plutonium. Only a few short years later, two bombs ("Little Boy" and "Fat Man") were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing Japan to its knees in surrender. Sullivan presents a highly readable history of the development and eventual use of the atomic bomb by the United States against Japan. Quotes from military personnel, laundresses, and scientists are interwoven in the text, creating a human picture of patriotism, sacrifice, and stress. Sullivan covers a variety of topics, from the scientific development of the bomb to the political and ethical implications of its use; from the living conditions at Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Los Alamos to the horrific results of the bombs' devastation. Sullivan's writing is balanced and unbiased yet informed and interdisciplinary, making this volume, which is laden with photographs, an excellent source of information on a timely topic.
Kirkus Reviews
The Manhattan Project is a complex subject for a book for young readers, but Sullivan does a fine job of relating the fascinating story in clear and lively prose. The three-year Project was huge, secret and desperate, an all-out effort to beat the Nazis in the arms race. The people and places are now legendary: Oppenheimer, Los Alamos, Trinity, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Little Boy, Fat Man and Paul Tibbets. It's a tale of brilliant scientists, shadowy spies, dreadful war, secret cities and secret lives. Despite the complicated history, this book is completely compelling, a straightforward narrative told with a light touch. Only toward the end does the voice falter, lapsing into a bit of editorializing. Still, the solid writing, attractive design, abundant photographs, suggestions for further reading that include works for young readers, websites and a glossary make this the best work on the subject for young readers. A great match with Ellen Klages's novel The Green Glass Sea (2006). (appendix, chronology, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823418558
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/2006
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
7.24(w) x 8.86(h) x 0.88(d)
Lexile:
1170L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Edward T. Sullivan has worked as a public and school librarian for over ten years. The author of many articles and books for librarians and teachers, this is his first book for young people. He lives with his wife and three cats in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a city that played a major role in the building of the first atomic bombs.

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