Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sheinkin tells the riveting story of how people discovered the secrets of the atom bomb - some with careful brainstorming at Los Alamos, some by reading stolen documents delivered by spies. There is heroic sabotage, principled deceit, and a breakneck race to build the world's first superweapon before the enemy does. The development of the atomic bomb was a critical moment for humanity, and Sheinkin gives us all the twists and turns that led to the fateful flight of the Enola Gay and the long arms race of the Cold War.
It is a story everyone should know. "In the end, it is a difficult story to sum up. The making of the atomic bomb is one of history's most amazing examples of teamwork and genius and poise under pressure. But it's also the story of how humans created a weapon capable of wiping our species off the planet. It's a story with no end in sight. "And, like it or not, you're in it." - p. 236
Add this book to your reading list with John Hersey's Hiroshima and Richard Rhodes' books The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb. If those sound too intimidating, then check out Peter Seller's absurdist comedy Dr. Strangelove, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. You'll laugh so hard you might cry.