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Atom Bombs: The Top Secret Inside Story of Little Boy and Fat Man Paperback – 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR (2004)
  • ASIN: B002IGLHV0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,535,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Fantastic historic and technically detail book.
Amazon Customer
This is a profound book which describes in living detail the creation and evolution of early atomic bomb development in the United States.
Lyle Bickley
My book was purchased and copyrighted 2010, and has 413 pages.
Itinerant

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Terry Sunday TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2006
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
"Atom Bombs: The Top Secret Inside Story of Little Boy and Fat Man" fills an important niche in the literature about the development of nuclear weapons. There is no shortage of books on the Manhattan Project, including such classics as "Now It Can Be Told," "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" and "The Making of the Atomic Bomb." Biographies of scientists who worked on the project, including Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Teller, also abound. One would think that there would not be much fresh material to write about a project that, after all, took place more than 60 years ago. But new books on the subject continue to crop up. One of the latest, "Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima," released in 2005, details the last couple of weeks before the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended World War II. In reading "Shockwave," I found that virtually all of the passages that referred to the technical details of the "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" bombs footnoted John Coster-Mullens' "Atom Bombs." So I had to buy it. It was an excellent decision.

According to a review in "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists," Coster-Mullen has not yet found a publisher willing to print his book, which is unfortunate--it deserves to be issued in bound hardcover form. Hopefully someday it will be.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Maggelet on March 30, 2008
Format: Spiral-bound
Without a doubt, John Coster-Mullen's work is the definitive historical archive on the development of Little Boy and Fat Man (once you read the book, you'll understand why I call it an "archive"!). Declassified documents and photographs chronicle the creation of these crude weapons from early drop shapes (Fat Boy, Y-1222, Pumpkin, and Thin Man) to the combat weapons used in WWII. The descriptions, drawings, and photographs of components used in these weapons (to include, but not limited to timers, baro switches, radar, casing, trap door, capsule, etc) is superb; anyone who worked in the nuclear weapons community or was an Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force nuclear weapons tech will certainly relate to this material. The book also contains extensive lists of tools and equipment used to assemble LB and FM, photo's of facilities on Tinian used to assemble the bombs, and documentation on the 509th's bombing missions. The declassified LANL photographs and John's photographs of bomb casings are priceless.
A superb historical document and a must have for museums, universities, and anyone interested in our Cold War history.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By George William Herbert on May 30, 2007
Format: Spiral-bound
The author has gathered together diverse and new primary source information and direct research (detail measuring and photographing surviving Little Boy and Fat Man type bombs in museums; visiting Tinian in the Pacific and sites in the US and documenting them in detail as well), interviews with Manhattan Project and 509th group survivors, and more. The result is a treasure trove of rich detail on what was done, how, and by whom as the atom bombs were being prepared and used in World War 2. It adds considerably to the available detailed history of the end of the war. Strongly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Fair Wold on September 29, 2006
Format: Spiral-bound
In first thumbing through this book, one might think it is too technical for the average reader of history. Although the book focuses on the scientific and engineering complexities of the first two atomic bombs, the operations of preparing and delivering the bombs are laid out in lucid, exciting prose. The author clearly presents details that were top secret for many decades; and he stops just short of revealing things that are still classified. This book really lets you know how the now relatively primitive nuclear bombs worked; but in a readable and fascinating way. Some readers will skip the most detailed material, but the rest of the book is stunning in its interest. I, the writer of this review, am a retired physicist and am in a position to cross-check many of the details. To the best of my knowledge, it is all correct. But most importantly, it is a good read.

Why has this book not been issued by a big name publisher? I would guess that there are two factors. First, the publisher might think the potential market would be limited to a few nerds and ex-Manhattan Project people. Not so; it is of general interest, especially to those interested in modern technology and WWII history. Second, a publisher might be concerned about the possibility of security issues - and that tingling, knife-edge separation from a security violation is one of the things that makes this book so great.

The print quality and format are fully professional and the very many illustrations are better than usually found in books by major publishers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frederick J. Miller on January 5, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
The December 15, 2008 issue of New Yorker contains a lengthy and fascinating story about the author of this book. "Atomic John: A truck driver uncovers secrets about the first nuclear bombs" by David Samuels, is every bit as engrossing as the book itself. Having read the book before the magazine article I had assumed that the author was a scientist of world renown, not the over-the-road truck driver who has devoted much of his life researching the subject, writing, and even printing the book and mailing it to the purchasers from his home in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The New Yorker article should be included as an addendum to the book.
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