On a quiet Monday morning in August 1945, the first atomic bomb detonated as expected, resulting in nearly 100,000 deaths. The Japanese surrendered nine days later. But if the bombing of Hiroshima represents one of the signal events of the twentieth century--indeed, in the history of mankind--at the time it was but another episode in an unprecedented drama whose final act had begun three weeks earlier, at the secret laboratory in Los Alamos. This book is the story of those three weeks, as seen through the eyes of the pilots, victims, scientists, and world leaders at the center of the drama. Interviews with American and Japanese witnesses tell the story of the bombing of Hiroshima--including the copilot, who writes a minute-by-minute diary on board the Enola Gay; the atomic scientist who arms the bomb in midair with a screwdriver; and the Japanese student desperately searching for his lover in the ruins of the city.--From publisher description.