A MOST AWESOME INVENTION: The Making of the Atomic Bomb (10 weeks)
F 2017

     Twenty-five years after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the seminal and complete story of how the bomb was developed, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan.

     Few great discoveries have evolved so swiftly – or have been so misunderstood.  From the theoretical discussion of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity, there was a span of hardly more than twenty-five years.  What began as merely an interesting speculative problem in physics grew into the Manhattan Project, and then into the bomb, with frightening rapidity, while scientists known only to their peers – Szilard, Oppenheimer, Bohr, Meitner, Fermi, Lawrence, von Neumann and others --  stepped from their ivory towers into the limelight.

     Richard Rhodes gives the definitive story of man’s most awesome discovery and invention, within the context of evolving world events.  Told in rich human, political and scientific detail, the core book is a narrative tour de force and a document with literary power commensurate with its subject.