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Showing 1-10 of 117 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 144 reviews
on June 6, 2016
The WW2 generation did everything they could to end the war. My men's book read this book and discussed it. We all liked the book and expressed surprise at how much needed to be invented in a very short time to deliver a working bomb. Growing up in the nuclear age, I didn't think about how much more powerful an A-bomb was over the conventional bombs. Certainly didn't think about how difficult it was to invent a way to deliver the bomb by airplane. Anyone who thinks the USA should not have used the bomb should read this book and also some books describing the two devastating world wars. Luckily we are 70 years from the A-bomb and lived through the cold war without a war on the level of devastation of either of the two world wars.
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on December 9, 2014
I should have researched this title a little more. I wasn't expecting a book that is essentially a compilation of writings by others (more of an anthology). The information was interesting but didn't seem to flow (of course not, right?). The selected "snippets" of writings by other authors left me sometimes wishing that I was reading their book instead.
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It is great to find a book that allows me to hear the stories of the people who were there for the birth of the atomic bomb.
I have always had an interest in understanding more about this pivotal time in our history. My Grandfather was a contract plumber who worked on site for almost three years. My father went down to visit him when he was 16 to get his dad to sign the papers so he could join his three older brothers in the South Pacific. That summer my dad worked at one of the gates checking id s as people came to work.

My dad was one of the lucky ones... if anyone can be lucky in war....... he shipped out and was in route to the Pacific Theatre when the first bomb dropped.

While I hate war and despise the Atomic Bomb I have to admit the truth.... if FDR/Truman had not followed through with it I would most likely not be alive today as my dad ,and his 3 brothers, were on the transports headed for the actual land invasion of Japan.
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on March 2, 2014
This book is a mixture of exceprts from other books and less well-known sources. On the minus side, it's disjointed, and the book often jump-cuts from one scene to the next. On the plus side, the presence of dozens of points of view give the work a more engaging, wholistic flavor -- it's not just one person's view; it's the differing views of theoretical physicists, practical engineers, goal-oriented military officers, and decision-making presidents. It also presents the view of the bombed Japanese.

If you'e a buff, you've probably seen this material in the original, and this second-hand book won't add much to your knowledge. But if, like me, you're a newbie to the Manhattan Project, you can read this book and then read ten more books from the excellent bibliography.
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on February 14, 2014
Although without an identifiable angle, Ms. Kelly compiles documents (some redundant) that make the Manhattan Project feel contemporary and human. One could question some choices, which include very mundane lists that are immediately forgotten. Many of the first person articles, however, make the book compelling. In particular, the prescience of he scientists that advocated for either non-use of the bomb for military purposes or predicted the implications of world wide proliferation so accurately awakenus to the continued threat of these weapons, and how they have outlived their usefulness yet cannot be eradicated. This is not a hard or boring read. I would recommend it for anyone with a curiosity about the subject.
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on April 17, 2017
More detail than you could ever imagine. Best bet for real Atom Bomb O-philes. Fills in a lot of cracks in the story.
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on November 5, 2007
The Manhattan Project is a wonderful compendium of personal accounts and anecdotes not readily available otherwise. The accounts come from people in all walks of Manhattan Project life. If you are a Manhattan Project buff, as I am, you'll be fascinated by the personal glimpses into the lives of military and civilian participants, their spouses and friends--and not just the famous scientists and military leaders. I have only one caveat: if your interest in the Manhattan Project is new, or you are not already familiar with the historical and scientific details of the Project, this book is not a good place to start--read Richard Rhodes' "The Making of the Atomic Bomb." This book is a collage of little insights into the personal lives of the Project's participants; it is not a detailed, chronological military or scientific history. However, for those steeped in the Manhattan Project, it is a treasure.
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on September 24, 2014
This book takes you from the aha moment of realization that an atom can be split to the post-atomic era and the fears that now surround all of humanity. It is all written in the words of those who were hands-on in the search for nuclear fission capability as well as the experiences of those who built the infrastructure and process facilities for nuclear weapons.
As a child born in the 1950s who has always lived under the shadow of nuclear annihilation, this book brings clarity to every question about why, how and what-if that has surrounded this supernatural science.
Personalities are revealed, tension is expressed due to the urgency of the effort and the underlying secrecy that surrounded this effort bring new questions into your mind. It's a great book. Give it your time!
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on June 25, 2014
I have ties to the MP, so this sounded interesting. And it is. It jumps around in time a lot, which can get annoying, but overall I liked it.

Except for the graphic parts about the effects of the bombs on people. That was horrid and grim. I know that this is what happened, but I don't like reading it any more than I like reading about what went on in Nazi concentration camps. So I mention this as a warning. You can always skip over that chapter. Or maybe you have a stronger stomach than I have.

Anyway, I followed this up by reading The Girls of Atomic City, and it was a good companion book.

But this book about the Manhattan Project uses a lot of original documents, which always makes history interesting.
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on July 3, 2012
The first half of the book was exceptionally well written, informative and eye opening considering the nature of the heretofore unknown world of atomic energy. I was truly taken back by the emerging realization that no one really knew what the outcome would be when we first caused a nuclear pile to go critical. Would it, as some prominent scientist surmised, ignite the atmosphere in a total global halocaust or would Trinity Site become an international fizzle. No one actually knew. I was not overly impressed with the second half compilation of letters, transcripts and speech notes submitted prior to, during and after the Manhatten Project itself. They were redundant and for the most rather mundane and even boring. Stick with the excitement of the narrative about the project itself and close the book when it enters the world of letters and notes.
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