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If anyone is interested in the biography of the Manhattan Project in general, including much of the goings-on at Los Alamos, I really must recommend Rhodes' "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" (http://www.amazon.com/The-Making-Atomic-Bomb-Anniversary/dp/...)

It's an excellent read, cover-to-cover. One of the few assigned books I read with excitement while in undergrad.




If you're already familiar with Manhattan Project histories, check out "Hitler's Uranium Club: The Secret Recordings at Farm Hall" (http://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-Uranium-Club-Secret-Recordings...), by physicist Jeremy Bernstein.

It's an account of the German nuclear programs, with the centrepiece being a curated set of transcripts from secret recordings of the candid conversations of a group of German scientists detained after the war.

Some vaguely YC-ish lessons on how their failure to produce could be attributed in many ways to seemingly mundane organizational structures that were debatably inherent to Nazi German society and internal politics.

Also some borderline pornographic payoff when they find out about Hiroshima. At the time, they were convinced they were 10 years ahead of anyone else, and were being detained as a prelude to being showered with honours and put in place to bring American and British science into the modern age. Then they set about convincing themselves they failed on purpose for moral reasons.


I'm in the middle of his 1996 follow up book, "Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb" (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Sun-Making-Hydrogen-Bomb/dp/06848...).

The book details the Soviet nuclear program, as well as the truly massive amount of espionage that was going on at the various locations of the Manhattan project.


Or, in Apple keynote style: "Richard Rhodes has introduced the best account of the development of the atomic bomb, a top-notch biography of the greatest minds of the 20th century, and a terrific summary of early-mid 20th century physics. These are NOT three separate books--this is one book, and he's calling it The Making of the Atomic Bomb."




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