The Bomb: A Life

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2005 - History - 397 pages
3 Reviews

Bombs are as old as hatred itself. But it was the twentieth century--one hundred years of incredible scientific progress and terrible war--that brought forth the Big One, the Bomb, humanity's most powerful and destructive invention. In The Bomb: A Life, Gerard DeGroot tells the story of this once unimaginable weapon that--at least since 8:16 a.m. on August 6, 1945--has haunted our dreams and threatened our existence.

The Bomb has killed hundreds of thousands outright, condemned many more to lingering deaths, and made vast tracts of land unfit for life. For decades it dominated the psyches of millions, becoming a touchstone of popular culture, celebrated or decried in mass political movements, films, songs, and books. DeGroot traces the life of the Bomb from its birth in turn-of-the-century physics labs of Europe to a childhood in the New Mexico desert of the 1940s, from adolescence and early adulthood in Nagasaki and Bikini, Australia and Kazakhstan to maturity in test sites and missile silos around the globe. His book portrays the Bomb's short but significant existence in all its scope, providing us with a portrait of the times and the people--from Oppenheimer to Sakharov, Stalin to Reagan--whose legacy still shapes our world.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

DeGroot takes us on a history of the bomb from the beginning of the 20th Century to the beginning of the 21st. He begins with the 1904 observation by the prescient physicist Frederick Soddy that ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - name99 - LibraryThing

This book makes an interesting contrast to Dark Sun. It is substantially less technical, which is a shame, but it covers much more of the material I was hoping for. It tells us something of the ... Read full review

Contents

Killing is Easy
1
Neutrons and Nations
8
Born in Manhattan
33
Its a Boy
56
Decisions
66
Genshi Bakudan
82
Nuclear Giants and Ethical Infants
106
On a Russian Scale
126
Symbols not Weapons
217
Testing Times
237
To the Brink
253
How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
272
MidLife Crisis
304
Fallout
327
Notes
353
Select Bibliography
370

Embracing Armageddon
148
To Little Boy a Big Brother
162
The New Look
184

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