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The Making of the Atomic Bomb: 25th Anniversary Edition (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 12. Juni 2012

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


"The comprehensive history of the bomb--and also a work of literature." –Tracy Kidder

"A stirring intellectual adventure, and a clear, fast-paced and indispensable history of events on which our future depends."–Carl Sagan

"The best, the richest, and the deepest description of the development of physics in the first half of this century that I have yet read, and it is certainly the most enjoyable."–Isaac Asimov

"A monumental and enthralling history [...] Alive and vibrant in the book are all the scientists...and each human being stands vividly revealed as a man of science, of conscience, of doubts or of hubris."–San Francisco Chronicle

"A great book. Mr. Rhodes has done a beautiful job, and I don't see how anyone can ever top it."–Luis W. Alvarez, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1968

"... what I read already impressed me with the author's knowledge of much of the history of the science which led to the development of nuclear energy and nuclear bombs and of the personalities which contributed in the U.S. to the development of these. I was particularly impressed by his realization of the importance of Leo Szilard's contributions which are almost always underestimated but which he fully realizes and perhaps even overestimates. I hope the book will find a wide readership."–Eugene P. Wigner, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1963

"I found The Making of the Atomic Bomb well written, interesting and one of the best in the great family of books on the subject. It is fascinating as a novel, and I have learned from it many things I did not know. Mr. Rhodes has done his homework conscientiously and intelligently"–Emilio Segrè, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1959

"Mr. Rhodes gives careful attention to the role which chemists played in developing the bomb. the Making of the Atomic Bomb strikes me as the most complete account of the Manhattan Project to date."–Glenn T. Seaborg, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, 1951

"The Making of the Atomic Bomb is an epic worthy of Milton. Nowhere else have I seen the whole story put down with such elegance and gusto and in such revealing detail and simple language which carries the reader through wonderful and profound scientific discoveries and their application.
The great figures of the age, scientific, military, and political, come to life when confronted with the fateful and awesome decisions which faced them in this agonizing century. This great book dealing with the most profound problems of the 20th century can help us to apprehend the opportunities and pitfalls that face the world int he 21st."–I. I. Rabi, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1944

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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von am 7. April 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
I recommend this work to you for two reasons: first, I believe it important for a citizen of the world to understand the development and initial employment of this "gadget" (as its creating physicists designated the bomb), and second, this is a fine read: significant history with minimal political taint. This is a story more fascinating than Clancy's best, due simply to its veracity.
No wonder this won the Pulitzer! This is well-written and captivating history.
Rhodes includes dialog and writings to allow his reader to meet the physicists, soldiers, and politicians. His technical descriptions of the involved science satiate me, a chemist, yet he supplies the definitions and background to permit ready comprehension by readers not versed in nuclear theory. Finally, his account of the events in the two decades prior to and during the Manhattan Project educates without boredom.
Much of this work concerns the men and women discovering the constituents of the atom and of its potential to be affected for some utility. The science is not overwhelming, but well-written and clear.
This is written as a historical text book, with documentation galore. I concur with my fellow reader who remarked on their amazement that one man could compile this. What a tome of research!
I shall limit my complaints to two. I found the account to be heavy on the early days and developers of nuclear theory. I also tired of reading Bohr's philosophy on the need to share science with the world.
Anyone interested in the history of the 20th Century or in atomic weapons would not regret reading The Making of the Atomic Bomb.
What struck me most?
How quickly the industrial capability of the United States put this into motion, once committed.
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As noted by Rhodes, the book encapsulates Bohr's notion of the complementarity of the bomb. The question becomes then, what is the complementarity of the bomb and how does it enter into the debate over nuclear proliferation and national security in the years when the bomb was first developed? The complementarity of the bomb is best understood as a paradox, a theory which epitomizes the danger of unintended consequences of technology. In Bohr's memorandum to President Roosevelt, he laid out his theory as a new language that is born out of the harnessing of nuclear power but necessary to grasp what such capabilities entail. According to Bohr, the bomb, ironically, was not so much a weapon as a threat. The magnitude of such a threat entailed that, "when nuclear weapons spread to other countries, as they certainly would, no one would be able any longer to win. A spasm of mutual destruction would be possible. But not war."(532) In this way, the idea of the bomb paradoxically destroyed the concept which it was designed to dominate long before it ever came to fruition. It destroyed the old conception of war and supplanted it with a possibility which was much darker, more ominous, and ultimately eschatological.
Rhodes explains that in a world of international anarchy where nations compete for self-interested goals, war had been the method of final negotiation. The bomb created a situation where this old construct could no longer work because when applied the bomb would subvert the goals it was intended to meet. The power it contained was ultimate as Rhodes describes it in divine proportions. Under the old framework of arms build-up each new bomb would quantitatively increase security.
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...deserves a narrative documentary of the highest quality. Fortunately for us, Richard Rhodes was up to the task.
He delves into the physics that made the bomb possible and the personalities who nearly made it impossible. For instance, he has the courage to move Albert Einstein slightly off center-stage of 20th Century physics and to give credit more to the ensemble effort that led to the creation of the bomb.
The bomb was really the product of industrial might (backed with an enormous commitment of finances), military resources and discipline, scientific wit and intelligence, human creativity and imagination, and political will. That all of these things could be focused and brought into convergence is almost unthinkable in today's terms. As a subterranean national priority, very few of the general public had the foggiest notion that it was going on. Simpler times.
The author has managed to assemble the diverse research that was obviously necessary in a way that is comparable to the building of the bomb. That would have been enough for the record, but Mr. Rhodes exceeds himself in the quality of his writing, never slipping into the tempting morass of techno-jargon. Rather, he actually manages to explain all the key elements that renders the subject understandable by the layperson. Not least of all is his effectiveness in showing the protaganists as three-dimensional humans. He raises the important ethical and social consequences of the development without much of a rhetorical bias one way or the other.
Close the windows, lock the doors and read this book.
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