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The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986)

por Richard Rhodes

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

Series: The Making of the Nuclear Age (1)

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
3,494523,611 (4.46)81
History. Science. Nonfiction. HTML: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 sociopolitical 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
… (más)
Añadido recientemente porquincunx00, reecejones, esrztk, jaystainbrook, Jdubina, 901crini, biblioteca privada, NathanaelHastings, zhuazhua88
  1. 10
    Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb por Richard Rhodes (Usuario anónimo)
  2. 00
    Lawrence and Oppenheimer por Nuel Pharr Davis (gneimer)
    gneimer: An interesting biography of two men who helped shape the atomic era. Rhodes pulls quite a bit of information from this book. A study in contrast between Lawrence and Oppenheimer.
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Inglés (49)  Islandés (1)  Danés (1)  Hebreo (1)  Todos los idiomas (52)
Mostrando 1-5 de 52 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
Hard to imagine a world without the A-Bomb. Also hard to imagine how a small group of Jewish scientist emigres convinced the US Government to make the biggest investment in weaponry ever based on a belief that the Nazi's would get there first. But they did, and the Nazi's didn't. Thank goodness. ( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
I was very impressed with the work the author put into this book.
I got an overview of the development of the nuclear physics field from 1900 forward thru WWII.
I got a better understanding of the decision making process for German scientists as they departed Germany under Hitler.
I got a new understanding of the amount of chemistry work required as they tried various ways to create a chain reaction, and manage it.
I got a better grasp of the magnitude (and pace!) of the Manhattan Project.
I got a better understanding of how the rationale to drop the bomb on a city was made. Part of this was a better grasp of the nature of the fire-bombing of German cities and its rationale - which was lead up to the nuclear bomb decision.
And finally, painfully, I got a painful grasp of the devastation of the bomb when dropped. ( )
  jjbinkc | Aug 27, 2023 |
A very comprehensive account of the making of the atomic bomb. For me, a bit too comprehensive - but then again, history has never been my best subject. :) ( )
  Pishmoffle | Mar 27, 2023 |
Masterful and harrowing. ( )
  gideonslife | Jan 5, 2023 |
It's one of the most intellectually satisfying books I've read in a long time. If you are to read only one history book or only one science book in your life - pick this one. You'll kill two birds with one stone and you won't be disappointed.

It's hard to summarize this book. In fact, it feels like a few distinct, but carefully interwoven, books. One documents the birth and development of nuclear physics, presenting scientific milestones and their contributors. Another depicts war as the people-powered death machine perfected with the atomic bomb's invention. A different one shows people who grapple with the possible consequences of their work in wartime distorted morality. I also enjoyed the one about a difficult merge of acamedia and army that created from scratch one of the biggest industries in the US, which purpose was hidden from the public and most of its employees. It's still far from a comprehensive list of subjects, themes, and stories included in this book. While not all might be equally captivating, I'm sure that everyone can find something intriguing and thought-provoking for themselves.

It's a slow read. Not only because of its size (38+ hours in the audiobook format) but also density. The amount of research behind this book is staggering, especially if you account for the pre-digital era it was done in. There is a lot to process here so it might be hard to consume in big chunks. Also, the subject matter is rather profound and requires some contemplation. I appreciate the author creating space for this, by refraining from imposing his judgment or narrative, allowing eyewitnesses to speak, and letting the readers make up their own opinion and meaning.

The sheer number of facts and meticulous approach to detail can be overwhelming. There are moments that feel like someone describing a wall-sized 8k image pixel by pixel. It's impressive but not really engaging. However, this means that you'll get quite a high-resolution version of the events you care about. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know physicists, who I knew only from the units, laws, and equations named after them, as real people with their ambitions, demons, families, and frenemies. Their influences, childhood stories, traumas, and descriptions of their unique styles of making and describing science were mesmerizing for me... but I guess they might be tiresome for others.

Kudos also to the audio production of the audiobook. Holter Graham is an amazing narrator who keeps listeners engaged for hours, trying to sound as accurate as possible for the legion of people he quotes in this piece.

If you are not discouraged by the 38 hours or nearly 1000 pages long book about science and war, I highly recommend you give this one a chance. I wish I had read it at school, it presents an epic story that was shortened to a single paragraph in my history books that completely doesn't do justice to the meaning and value of these events. It's peculiar to read it during the war in Ukraine and the looming threat of using nuclear power again. Maybe if more people were interested in the history of an atomic bomb, we would be less likely to repeat it... ( )
  sperzdechly | Oct 18, 2022 |
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» Añade otros autores (4 posibles)

Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Obra?Estado
Rhodes, Richardautor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Gardner, GroverNarradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Graham, HolterNarradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Ratzkin, LawrenceDiseñador de cubiertaautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado

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In London, where Southampton Row passes Russel Square, across from the British Museum in Bloomsbury, Leo Szilard waited irritably one gray Depression morning for the stoplight to change.
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Early in 1945 Oak Ridge began shipping bomb-grade U235 to Los Alamos. Between shipments Groves took no chance with a substance far more valuable gram for gram than diamonds. Although the Army had condemned all the land and ejected the original inhabitants from the Clinton reservation area, at the dead end of a dusty reservation back road cattle grazed on a pasture beside a white farmhouse. A concrete silo towered over the road which was sheltered by a steep bluff. From the air the scene resembled any number of small Tennessee holdings, but the silo was a machine-gun emplacement, the farm was manned by security guards, and built into the side of the bluff a concrete bunker shielded a bank-sized vault completely encircled with guarded walkways. In this pastoral fortress Groves stored his accumulating grams of U235. Armed couriers transported it as uranium tetrafluoride in special luggage by car to Knoxville, where they boarded the overnight express to Chicago. They passed on the luggage the next morning to their Chicago counterparts, who held a reserved space on the Santa Fe Chief. Twenty-six hours later, in midafternoon, the Chicago couriers debarked at Lamy, the stranded desert way station that served Santa Fe. Los Alamos security men met the train and completed the transfer to the Hill, where chemists waited eagerly to reduce the rare cargo to metal.
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History. Science. Nonfiction. HTML: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 sociopolitical 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

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