Now It Can Be Told: The Story Of The Manhattan Project

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Hachette Books, Jun 16, 2009 - History - 496 pages
General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer were the two men chiefly responsible for the building of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, code name "The Manhattan Project." As the ranking military officer in charge of marshalling men and material for what was to be the most ambitious, expensive engineering feat in history, it was General Groves who hired Oppenheimer (with knowledge of his left-wing past), planned facilities that would extract the necessary enriched uranium, and saw to it that nothing interfered with the accelerated research and swift assembly of the weapon.This is his story of the political, logistical, and personal problems of this enormous undertaking which involved foreign governments, sensitive issues of press censorship, the construction of huge plants at Hanford and Oak Ridge, and a race to build the bomb before the Nazis got wind of it. The role of groves in the Manhattan Project has always been controversial. In his new introduction the noted physicist Edward Teller, who was there at Los Alamos, candidly assesses the general's contributions-and Oppenheimer's-while reflecting on the awesome legacy of their work.
 

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Contents

THE BEGINNINGS OF THE MED
3
FIRST STEPS
19
THE URANIUM ORE SUPPLY
33
THE PLUTONIUM PROJECT
38
I
60
I
68
II
78
OAK RIDGE
94
TRAINING THE AIR UNIT
253
CHOOSING THE TARGET
263
TINIAN
277
ALAMOGORDO
288
OPERATIONAL PLANS
305
HIROSHIMA
315
THE GERMANS HEAR THE NEWS
333
NAGASAKI
341

NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE BRITISH
125
SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS AND PRESS CENSORSHIP 1 38
138
II
149
THE COMBINED DEVELOPMENT TRUST
170
ALSOS IITALY 1 85
185
A SERIOUS MILITARY PROBLEM
199
ALSOS IIFRANCE
207
THE PROBLEM OF THE FRENCH SCIENTISTS
224
ALSOS IIIGERMANY
230
PART II
251
PART III
357
THE MED AND CONGRESS
359
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE JAPANESE CYCLOTRONS
367
TRANSITION PERIOD
373
THE AEC
389
POSTWAR DEVELOPMENTS
401
A FINAL WORD
413
APPENDIXES
417
INDEX
445
Copyright

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Page vi - Since it was obvious that they were completely upset by the failure of the long-range predictions, I soon excused them," he explains. "After that it was necessary for me to make my own weather predictions — a field in which I had no special competence." Luckily for Amarillo and Albuquerque, Oppenheimer continued to rely on the chief meteorologist, Jack Hubbard. He, Oppenheimer and Farrell had long planned to constitute themselves a triumvirate to decide whether to keep to schedule. None of them...
Page ix - Yet the gulf between the military establishment and the scientific community is as great as ever. General Groves was one of the pioneers who, with difficulty but ultimate success, managed to throw a bridge across the abyss. I do not see much hope for the survival of our democratic form of government if we cannot rebuild that bridge made by General Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Page xv - Wallace and as a result what was known as the "top policy group" was formed to direct the project. It consisted of the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of War, Dr. Bush, and Dr. James B. Conant, chairman of the National Defense Research Committee.
Page v - Throughout the war years, Oppie knew in detail what was going on in every part of the Laboratory. He was incredibly quick and perceptive in analyzing human as well as technical problems. Of the more than ten thousand people who eventually came to work at Los Alamos, Oppie knew several hundred intimately, by which I mean that he knew what their relationships with one another were and what made them tick. He knew how to organize, cajole, humor, soothe feelings — how to lead powerfully without seeming...
Page iv - I have known many directors intimately. For a short time, I was even a director myself. I know of no one whose work begins to compare in excellence with that of Oppenheimer's.
Page xvi - At first, the responsibilities were only for the engineering, construction and operation of the plants to produce bomb materials.
Page xvii - This assignment included selecting the target cities, subject to the approval of the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of War...
Page xv - We made certain that each member of the project thoroughly understood his part in our total effort — that, and nothing more.
Page xvii - The bulk of the project moved ahead by dint of the hard work and the feeling of urgency of everyone concerned and without requiring any personal supervision on my part.
Page xvi - I gradually came to be more and more responsible for the initial formulation of general policy and for the translation of policy into action.

About the author (2009)

Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. (1896-1970) was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project, a top secret research project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II.

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