1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Some great narraative history here,
This review is from: Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima (Paperback)
I really liked this book. It was readable and informative. The author has constructed the story of the atom bomb starting with the hours just before the test in July, 1945 to the epilog - whare are they now? There are look-backs to give context to the narrative and help put the pieces in place.
The thing I liked a lot about the book is that he has multiple story lines going all at once and he keeps them synchronized. There is the Los Alamos group with Oppenheimer and the other scientists. There is Leslie Groves, the project manager. There is Truman and Churchill and Stalin and the Potsdam Conference and all of the intrigue that went on with Truman managing the news on the bomb oblivious to the fact that Stalin knew all about it and was accelerating his own program with the assistance of Klaus Fuchs. There is the Japanese government trying to negotiate peace through the Russians who have a vested interest in ignoring them. There is Truman's cabinet and the joint chiefs, primarily Gen Marshall. There are the story lines in Hiroshima, the primary focal point of this book, and the 509th, primarily Col. Tibbets and the cast of characters there. He tells all of these story lines and upon switching ties in an action of the old story line with the timing of an action in the new story line so they all flow along in parallel. That gave me an overall grasp of the entire story and helped me appreciate what was going on and how the story lines to greater and lesser extents impacted on one another.
He got a lot of his information from interviews with players and survivors. He presents their stories with their outlooks and perspectives without philosophizing. He lets it stand as is. What you read is what you get. He doesn't try to interpret what the Hiroshima survivor meant when they said xxxxx.
It is primarily the story of the main players in the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima. The Nagasaki bomb is mentioned, but not much detail about that.
For me, this was a page-turner. He held my interest and at times, I had trouble putting it down. I highly recommend this one.