Top positive review
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A masterful account
on May 17, 2016
This book is an excellent companion to the author’s absolutely classic, “The Making of the Atomic Bomb.” It is the next step in atomic history. Perhaps, even to quote Fermi, “it can be done; and almost certainly will be done.”
In that case; this book is an inevitability.
The book starts out with a survey of what happened at Los Alamos and the invention of the fission bomb. Rhodes goes into painstaking detail regarding the development of the bomb and atomic espionage. He links the communist party of The United States to the infiltration by the Soviet Union the bomb project.
Clearly there were enough holes in the system the Russians were nearly up to date on everything we knew and used that information to their advantage by taking years off their own bomb program.
The book continues in describing the debate regarding the fusion bomb. Some scientists felt it should be made in the national interest and yet others thought it was a disaster. They preferred science spends its time on making nuclear power work in a non-military fashion
Not only does the author do a fantastic job of showing this debate. But he also shows us how the US moved forward and eventually produced the first hydrogen bomb. He ultimately finishes the book by describing in detail the Cuban Missile Crisis and how close we came to mutually assured destruction.
Without a doubt this is not an easy read. It’s the kind of heavy book you might read in a major history class. You need to know something about physics, history, some politics as they relate to the history. If you happen to have a keen interest in Atomic History, then this book is clearly written for you.
Ultimately, the book was entirely enjoyable. I look forward to reading more books by author. His making of the atomic bomb book was required reading when I was in college and still remains on my book shelf. Somethings never get old.
If you would like to know more about atomic history then I would suggest the author’s previous book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb or the magnificent book, “American Prometheus, “ by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin.