Now It Can Be Told: The Story Of The Manhattan Project

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General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer were the two men chiefly responsible for the building of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, code name "The Manhattan Project." As the ranking military officer in charge of marshalling men and material for what was to be the most ambitious, expensive engineering feat in history, it was General Groves who hired Oppenheimer (with knowledge of his left-wing past), planned facilities that would extract the necessary enriched uranium, and saw to it that nothing interfered with the accelerated research and swift assembly of the weapon.This is his story of the political, logistical, and personal problems of this enormous undertaking which involved foreign governments, sensitive issues of press censorship, the construction of huge plants at Hanford and Oak Ridge, and a race to build the bomb before the Nazis got wind of it. The role of groves in the Manhattan Project has always been controversial. In his new introduction the noted physicist Edward Teller, who was there at Los Alamos, candidly assesses the general's contributions-and Oppenheimer's-while reflecting on the awesome legacy of their work.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Da Capo Press
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Published on
Jun 16, 2009
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Pages
496
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ISBN
9780786748228
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Nuclear Warfare
History / Military / Weapons
History / Military / World War II
Science / History
Science / Physics / Nuclear
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The untold story of the career officer in the Army Corps of Engineers who oversaw the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb.
 
The Manhattan Project was the most secretive government project the United States had ever undertaken, and would prove to be one of the most consequential in history. While many know about the scientists who developed the atomic bomb, from Oppenheimer to Fermi, too few know the story of the man who ran the operation, Col. Leslie R. Groves. In Racing for the Bomb, historian Robert S. Norris brings essential clarity to this overlooked figure.
 
As one of the head engineers who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon, Groves had proven his skill at marshaling vast resources and conflicting personalities, as well as his ability to handle highly sensitive matters. In September 1942, Groves was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to direct the top-secret research project. He drove the manufacturers, construction crews, scientists, industrialists, and civilian officials to produce the money, the materials, and the plans to build the bomb in only two years.
 
As revealed here for the first time, Groves also played a decisive role in the planning, timing, and targeting of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Norris offers new insights into the complex and controversial questions surrounding those decisions, as well as Groves’s actions during World War II, which had a lasting imprint on the Cold War and the nuclear age.
 
“In Norris’s lively, richly detailed biography, General Leslie R. Groves finally emerges as the historic, tough, larger-than-life leader who made the atomic bomb happen.” —Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
 
“Norris’s narrative is of much use to students of the atomic age.” —Kirkus Reviews
From the bestselling author of Tuxedo Park, the fascinating story of the 3,000 people who lived together in near confinement for more than two intense and conflicted years under J. Robert Oppenheimer and the world's best scientists to produce the Atomic Bomb and win World War II.

They were told as little as possible.

Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe--the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end.

Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed.

Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer's by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author's grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer's past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced.

In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.
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