Churchill's Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race

Graham Farmelo. Basic, $29.99 (544p) ISBN 978-0-465-02195-6
Science historian Farmelo (The Strangest Man) ends each chapter with a cliffhanger that will keep readers paging through this thoroughly researched, detailed history of Britain's involvement with nuclear energy in the WWII era and beyond. Farmelo presents the key personalities—Churchill, "at heart a politician and a man of letters, not an academic and certainly not a scientist;" Lindemann, an admired experimentalist and theoretician who was Churchill's science adviser for decades; an array of scientists, from Bohr to Oppenheimer; and several U.S. presidents—F.D.R., Truman, and Eisenhower—and follows them from pre-war developments through the war to the Manhattan Project and to the Cold War. Readers will gain a new perspective on nuclear weapons and energy in which the usual players—Einstein, Szilard, and the other scientists—are secondary to the British prime minister, his advisor, and scientists who took refuge in England during the war. Farmelo's prose moves quickly with much action; he evokes a sense of place and time with details of daily life, such as Lindemann's truffled egg whites and F.D.R.'s daily routine. Highly recommended for those with an interest in weaponry, the WWII era, and British history. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/06/2014
Release date: 10/01/2013
Ebook - 250 pages - 978-0-571-30028-0
Paperback - 554 pages - 978-0-571-24979-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-2924-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4829-2923-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4829-4877-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-2922-5
Hardcover - 554 pages - 978-0-571-24978-7
Ebook - 577 pages - 978-0-465-06989-7
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