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Made in Hanford: The Bomb That Changed the World Paperback – April 15, 2011
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From the opening two pages (the chronology of several events which set the perspective for all that follows) onward to the story of how engineers were living in his own house while he was a youngster, he writes engrossingly as if it's historical fiction. Doesn't read at all like a regular documentary, but rather I actually can "hear David McCullough reading the story to me". It's that "smooth, well paced and connected.
I'm also fascinated (an old engineering graduate from MIT) in the physics, which is explained simply and directly. Lots of stuff I never learned about at MIT even. What a surprise. Am learning some chemistry all over again and loving it.
Look forward to passing the book along to others (including my grandson) to read.
Hill Williams clearly explains the basics of nuclear physics and the early physicists and chemists who worked for the extremely secret Manhattan District (official codename: "Development of Substitute Materials"). Even in 1943 Harry S. Truman did not have clearance to know about covert happenings in Hanford, Washington. Manhattan District was charged with making a nuclear fission bomb before the Germans or Japanese. The Manhattan District had large facilities in Chicago, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Los Alamos, and Hanford. The military politics and block out of information weave an interesting story of the clandestine operations and is as interesting as the race to make a workable A-bomb.
This Manhattan engineering project grew to employ more than 130,000 people and cost roughly 24.4 billion in 2011 dollars.
Mr. Williams uses his long experience as a newspaper writer to keep his book interesting from start to finish. His personal account of being present at a test in Nevada and Bikini Atoll and his stories about the displaced indigenous islanders make the book warm and personal. The infighting of top government officials, military generals and quirky scientists make this story a nice quick read and lubricates the drier scientific sections into a very palatable drama.
If you want to learn more about the history of the Inland Northwest, World War II, or how an atomic bomb is made, "Made in Hanford" is a well written book that will fulfill this wish.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastically written book!! Holds your interest and helps you to vicariously experience what the people living in the area were thinking about this mysterious government project. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Craig
I live near the Hanford reservation and find the history of what happened there in my lifetime. I know many Hanford workers who are significantly disabled because of their... Read morePublished on September 8, 2013 by Sally
My husband was stationed in Hanford in the 50's so this has been of special interest to us. Quite enlightening.Published on May 11, 2013 by Lazeegurl
I bought this book as a gift. The report back was that it was 'a great book.' He is passing it on.Published on April 4, 2013 by Old Bookworm
A friend loaned us this book and we enjoyed it so much bought one ourselves! Since my husband has worked at Hanford for 35 years, it was especially interesting. Read morePublished on March 28, 2013 by N. Johns