The Manhattan Project: The Birth of the Atomic Bomb in the Words of Its Creators, Eyewitnesses and Historians

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The Manhattan Project: The Birth of the Atomic Bomb in the Words of Its Creators, Eyewitnesses and Historians

Author: Cynthia C. Kelly
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 495
Cover Price: $ 24.95

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Born out of a small research program that began in 1939, the Manhattan Project brought together the cream of the scientific community and the military to create and perfect a weapon more powerful than any the world had known. Racing against time as the war raged in Europe and Asia, and against our enemies, whom we feared were pursuing similar ends, the Project would eventually employ more than 125,000 people and cost a total of over $2 billion--and the entire operation was conducted under a shroud of secrecy, at remote sites around the country.

This groundbreaking book--the first of its kind--collects the writings and thoughts of the original participants in the Manhattan Project, along with pieces by the most important historians and interpreters of the subject. It is a rich and comprehensive compilation of documents, essays, articles, and excerpts from histories, biographies, plays, novels, letters, oral histories, and more, and is the freshest, most multi-faceted exploration yet of the topic. Including material by and about J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Leslie Groves, Klaus Fuchs, Henry Stimson, Vannevar Bush, Harry S. Truman, Niels Bohr, and many other key figures, it also collects the writings and testimony of those in the trenches at the Project, their families, and local eyewitnesses. Finally, the book includes thoughts and concerns about the bomb, set down in the aftermath of its deployment, by politicians, writers, artists, and others who saw that the world would never again be the same.

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Background Information

The project to develop the first atomic bomb during World War II was known as the Manhattan District, or informally the Manhattan Project. J. Robert Oppenheimer was the chief scientific adminstrator during the Manhattan Project and later the victim of suspicions against all those with politically questionable friends. Albert Einstein revolutionized science with his theory of relativity, first published in 1903, and was influential in persuading FDR of the potential for atomic weapons in World War II. Henry Stimson was a US diplomat.