Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Steve Sheinkin, Author
Steve Sheinkin. Roaring Brook/Flash Point, $19.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-59643-487-5
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 09/04/2012
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-5245-2
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-59643-861-3
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-250-05064-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-8041-2218-4
Compact Disc - 6 pages - 978-0-8041-2220-7
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In his highly readable storytelling style, Sheinkin (The Notorious Benedict Arnold) weaves together tales of scientific and technological discovery, back-alley espionage, and wartime sabotage in a riveting account of the race to build the first atomic weapon. The famous (Robert Oppenheimer) and infamous (spy Harry Gold) headline an enormous cast of characters, which also includes Norwegian resistance fighter Knut Haukelid, whose secret wartime missions prevented Hitler from acquiring an atom bomb. B&w portraits of key players appear in photo- montages that begin each of the book’s four sections. Sheinkin pulls from numerous sources to supply every chapter with quotations that swiftly move the narrative forward. Suspenseful play-by-play moments will captivate, from the nuclear chain reaction test at the University of Chicago to the preparations for and dropping of the first bomb over Hiroshima. In a “genie out of the bottle” epilogue, details of the Cold War’s escalating arms race and present-day weapons counts will give readers pause, especially Sheinkin’s final thoughts: “It’s a story with no end in sight. And, like it or not, you’re in it.” A must-read for students of history and science. Ages 10–up. (Sept.) ■
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