From Publishers Weekly
More than 60 years since WWII was ended by two atomic detonations, the Manhattan Project that made them possible still carries iconic weight, both as an incredible achievement of science and engineering and as the opening salvo in the nuclear arms race. This collection of essays, including excerpts from 45 books and almost twice as many articles, is more than worthy of its subject. The basic science behind the project is detailed in a number of lively accounts by scientists who worked on it; they also recount the lighter side of the experience, including the characters they worked alongside and the camaraderie among them. In-depth analysis of policy and ethical issues take on the justification for Truman's decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki (with fine examples from both sides of the argument) and the still-urgent need for global arms control (as argued in a 2007 Wall Street Journal article by Henry Kissinger et al). With a comprehensive reach (going as far back as 1934 to find a charming story on Oppenheimer, "The Absentminded Professor"), Kelly, president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation and an experienced editor (Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project) does a masterful job covering all aspects of the world-changing enterprise and its legacy.
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"I was enthralled by these vivid and compelling accounts of personalities and events at Los Alamos and elsewhere that produced the Bomb, ended a World War, and transformed our lives forever."–Bruce Babbitt, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior and Governor of Arizona
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