“I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Quoting from the Bhagavad Gita, J. Robert Oppenheimer, physicist and the father of the atomic bomb, summed up his role in the creation of a weapon of unimaginable power. At first excited by their success, he and his fellow scientists were soon horrified at the devastation the bomb wrought on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. As bad as that was, they thought, what would happen if another country, such as Nazi Germany, figured out how to make their own bomb? Unfortunately, someone did.
Through a complicated network of spies, information about the Manhattan Project was gradually smuggled out of Los Alamos, New Mexico and to the Soviet Union. This became the start of the Cold War arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Although the Cold War is over now, the threat of nuclear weapons remain to this day.
Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World’s Most Dangerous Weapons by Steven Sheinkin chronicles, not only the horrifying race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during World War II, but the all-too-real fear that the Nazis might beat them both!