cover image Day of the Bomb: Countdown to Hiroshima

Day of the Bomb: Countdown to Hiroshima

Dan Kurzman / Author McGraw-Hill Companies $19.95 (546p) ISBN

Kurzman (Genesis 1948) recounts the events leading to the decision to drop the first atomic bomb, preparations for delivery over the target, the event itself, and the aftermath as it affected the officials most closely involved. Using delicate strokes on a grand canvas that includes portraits of President Truman, prime ministers and the emperor of Japan, the author probes the minds of those who conceived the bomb and developed it, and those who subsequently tried to prevent its use. The latter included Leo Szillard, who ""tried to switch off the machine he had created . . . lest it light the road to Armageddon.'' There's a wealth of rich new material here, including Kurzman's convincing speculations about Klaus Fuchs's complicated motivations in passing atomic secrets to the Russians, and fresh insights into policy discussions at the highest levels in both the United States and Japan. Kurzman performs a mighty feat of research and writing in a comprehensive account of the interrelated details of the most awesome tragedy of the century. Literary Guild selection; Military Book Club alternate; author tour. November 25