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City of fire : Los Alamos and the birth of the Atomic Age, 1943-1945

Author: James W Kunetka
Publisher: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice-Hall, Inc., [1978]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Based upon previously classified wartime files, the complete records of the Manhattan Project, and interviews with dozens of wartime participants, City of Fire presents the complete and definitive history of Los Alamos, the scientific town created overnight by the U.S. Army to build prototype atomic bombs during World War II. With the initial test explosion of the atomic bomb in northern New Mexico on July 16, 1945,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: James W Kunetka
ISBN: 0131346350 9780131346352
OCLC Number: 3396956
Description: 234 pages, [8] leaves of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Responsibility: James W. Kunetka.

Abstract:

Based upon previously classified wartime files, the complete records of the Manhattan Project, and interviews with dozens of wartime participants, City of Fire presents the complete and definitive history of Los Alamos, the scientific town created overnight by the U.S. Army to build prototype atomic bombs during World War II. With the initial test explosion of the atomic bomb in northern New Mexico on July 16, 1945, the Atom Age--indeed, the whole modern era--had begun in earnest. Now, in a book brimming with history, science, politics, and extraordinary human achievement, here is the dramatic story behind the creation of the atomic bomb. Led by the brilliant and charismatic Robert Oppenheimer, the Los Alamos Laboratory drew to its ranks the scientific giants of the age: Neils Bohr, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, and dozens more. Casting new light on Oppenheimer's pervasive contributions to the Laboratory and on his relationship with General Leslie R. Groves, the Director of the Manhattan Project, this book reveals the scientific squabbles that developed, as well as the unusual degree of cooperation Oppenheimer generated among his colleagues and between the scientific community and the military establishment. New insights are also shed on the roles played by such major figures as Roosevelt, Truman, and Churchill in an undertaking that provided for the unprecedented interaction of science and politics. The author recreates the unique life and work at Los Alamos--the uncertainties, difficult ires, small pleasures, and ironies--that led to the beginning of the Atomic Age. He tells how problems in the bomb's creation were overcome by vast expenditures of money and almost around-the-clock labor or nearly 7,000 men and women working in secrecy on the isolated New Mexican mesa. Work on the project went ahead despite the uncertainty of the outcome and the belief by some scientists that an atomic explosion possibly could ignite the atmosphere and destroy the world. After the war, scientists were divided between those who favored development of larger, more powerful weapons and those who felt that existing weapons were enough. Describing the historical events leading to the Trinity bomb test and to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. City of Fire corrects many misconceptions about the greatest news story of the twentieth century. Setting the record straight, it establishes that all Los Alamos scientist were involved in the decision to use the weapon against Japan. Written in a compelling and riveting style, this is the clearest, most accurate, and most informed account to date of a major scientific achievement that has affected all our lives.

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