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Welcome to the Machine
Toward the end of this momentous, detailed narrative of how the atomic bomb was conceived & executed, I grappled with how I might succinctly share my impressions of its
magnitude. In an obliquely inspired & somewhat ironically hinged connection I thought of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine." At the time, the eponymous named tune of the album, presented my son & I a unique opportunity - a rocket ship ride to the stars. I'd pull our large stereo speakers close together & the two of us (Jason was 3 at the time) would lie down on the floor as I cranked up the volume. For those familiar with the stadium pleasing anthem you might recall that given the right leap of fancy, it was quite possible to imagine the opening overture as the sounds associated with a rocket blasting off into space. And then came the haunting lyrics that echoed in my ears as I finished reading this terrifying tome: "Welcome my son, welcome to the machine. Where have you been? It's alright we know where you've been, You've been in the pipeline, filling in time ..."
And so have we all since a coterie of this planet's most brilliant physicists ushered into our world the discovery of nuclear fission.What Rhodes does a brilliant job of is to magnify in excruciating detail both the level of complexity & the dedication of our national resources to creating our first weapon of mass destruction. While conceived over a decade and a half, the bulk of the atomic bomb project occurred at the Los Alamos labs in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At the height of its production powers the lab exceeded in funds spent & materials produced by the entire automotive industry. It was no small task to create an atomic bomb. Indeed, it was a Herculean effort to produce this machine of death -perhaps the most ingenious & evil creation hatched in the 20th century. By the conclusion of this important & at times difficult to digest story (Rhodes goes into great technical detail - much of which floated beyond my comprehension) the reader understands quite well that a door has been opened that can never again, be closed.
 

Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb

User Review  - Glenn Fain - Goodreads

I'm finding this a hard slog, but I'm reading it for research. So I slog onward. Read full review

Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb

User Review  - Alex - Goodreads

Over the top journalism in mix with light science-related explanations. Book is huge and very interesting. Read full review

Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb: 25th Anniversary Edition

User Review  - Noahsmitty - Goodreads

My problem with some history books like this is that the author spends a lot of time cramming superfluous detail along-side the more poignant facts which move the author's narrative forward. The book ... Read full review

Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb

User Review  - Lise - Goodreads

This monster book on the history, the physics, the people behind the discoveries that led to The Manhattan Project and the splitting of the atom and the marking of the atomic bomb won the Pulitzer ... Read full review

Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb

User Review  - Dirk - Goodreads

I am so glad I read this book; I just don't know how to recommend it. It's 882 pages long with several thousand footnotes. To say it is well-documented is an understatement. It is an amazing ... Read full review

Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb

User Review  - Mihai Parparita - Goodreads

Appreciated the thoroughness of the book. At times it felt like a linearized depth first search traversal of related Wikipedia articles (to depth 3 starting from The Manhattan Project), for example ... Read full review

Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb

User Review  - Kenny - Goodreads

This is a masterful and well-written history of the scientific discoveries of nuclear physics. In it you meet the many scientists whose work and discoveries lead to both military and peace-time uses ... Read full review

Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb

User Review  - Hom Sack - Goodreads

I would complain that this is more that I every wanted to know about the subject. But as others have said, it is comprehensive. No wonder it took me so long to read it. I had to overcome my impatience ... Read full review

Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb

User Review  - Colin Hoskins - Goodreads

An astonishing achievement, and that's just me for getting through it! The book takes you from the earliest discoveries of what atoms are made of, through the discovery of nuclear fission, to the ... Read full review


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