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The Making of the Atomic Bomb: The 25th Anniversary Edition (Inglés) Pasta blanda – 12 jun 2012


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Críticas

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

"San Francisco Chronicle" 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.

Carl Sagan A stirring intellectual adventure...clear, fast-paced, and indispensable.

.".. 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 Segre, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1959"

""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"

"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 Segre, 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

Descripción del producto

Twenty-five years after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the definitive history of nuclear weapons and the Manhattan Project. From the turn-of-the-century discovery of nuclear energy to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan, Richard Rhodes's Pulitzer Prize-winning book details the science, the people, and the socio-political realities that led to the development of the atomic bomb.
This sweeping account begins in the 19th century, with the discovery of nuclear fission, and continues to World War Two and the Americans' race to beat Hitler's Nazis. That competition launched the Manhattan Project and the nearly overnight construction of a vast military-industrial complex that culminated in the fateful dropping of the first bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Reading like a character-driven suspense novel, the book introduces the players in this saga of physics, politics, and human psychology--from FDR and Einstein to the visionary scientists who pioneered quantum theory and the application of thermonuclear fission, including Planck, Szilard, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Teller, Meitner, von Neumann, and Lawrence.
From nuclear power's earliest foreshadowing in the work of H.G. Wells to the bright glare of Trinity at Alamogordo and the arms race of the Cold War, this dread invention forever changed the course of human history, and The Making of The Atomic Bomb provides a panoramic backdrop for that story.
Richard Rhodes's ability to craft compelling biographical portraits is matched only by his rigorous scholarship. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail that any reader can follow, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a thought-provoking and masterful work.

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Amazon.com: 4.6 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 699 opiniones
21 de 21 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Flawed Masterpiece 29 de junio de 2016
Por Daryl Carpenter - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Pasta blanda Compra verificada
A quick note for anyone deciding which edition to buy: The "25th Anniversary Edition" removes the book's final chapter completely. This feels utterly disingenuous and revisionist to me. Rhodes' "Dark Sun" covers the same ground as the omitted epilogue, but this edition ends so abruptly I'm amazed there wasn't an advertisement for the other books in his "nuclear anthology" on the final page. The Kindle version is somewhat flawed; there are quite a few typos and dropped punctuation, and it's not always obvious when direct quotations begin and end. I'd recommend buying one of the older physical editions if you want to read this book as it was meant to be read.

"The Making of the Atomic Bomb" is a richly detailed epic, a table-shaking beast of a book that frequently sent me on evening walks to ponder and process the last few chapters I'd read. This is more than just a book about Hiroshima, Oppenheimer, and the Manhattan Project. We get an in-depth look at the early history of atomic physics, the personalities of key scientists, politicians, and military leaders, the complex political and military issues surrounding the bomb's development and use, and the historic and social events that shaped its creation. This is NOT a beach read - better put aside two weeks and plenty of undivided attention before tackling it!

I first read this book back in 2001, and I was totally enthralled by it, devouring it from cover to cover in four days. Having read it four times since then, some cracks have formed in its facade. Namely, it feels like two books grafted together - a decent one on the early history of nuclear physics, and an enthralling one on the actual making of the atomic bomb. The first 250 pages, while perhaps essential, tend to get bogged down by Rhodes' occasionally self-indulgent scene-setting (do we really need to know what shape the windows were?) and rather heavy philosophizing. Things pick up immensely with the actual discovery that the Uranium atom can be split, but I can see why some people give up early on. The "making of" is told with a remarkable lack of sensationalizing and sermonizing, and as horrific as the accounts of the actual bombings are, Rhodes is remarkably nonjudgmental about the bomb's use. People looking for pointed criticisms or historical revisionism will probably be disappointed; although Rhodes clearly abhors war, he seems to view Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the inevitable climax of an increasingly savage conflict against an enemy which refused to surrender. Considering how emotionally charged most books on nuclear weapons are, I actually admired Rhodes' somewhat pragmatic approach. Then again, it might leave others cold and confused.

Although it's not the flawless masterpiece I once held it as, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" is still a pretty solid tome. It's big, multi-layered, thought-provoking, darkly funny, disturbing, richly detailed, philosophical... and just a tad over-rated. The first third is somewhat rough going, and, in retrospect, could have used some careful editing. The last 500 pages, however, are among the best history writing I've ever read. If the early history of nuclear weapons and nuclear physics fascinates you, give it a shot. You just need some patience going in.
12 de 12 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Still the definitive history; exhaustive, epic and utterly gripping 13 de agosto de 2012
Por Ashutosh S. Jogalekar - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Pasta blanda Compra verificada
When this book was published 25 years ago it was immediately recognized as a true classic, a history that was unlikely to be ever surpassed for the sheer amount of detail in it, the amazing breadth of the narrative and the spellbinding language and almost epic style that Rhodes brought in describing an earth-shattering event in human history. 25 years later this fact still rings true and it is inconceivable that anything of this caliber can ever be written. The new anniversary edition has a poignant foreword by Rhodes in which he traces the history of the book, examines our nuclear world and makes a heartfelt and yet commonsense plea for the ultimate abolition of these weapons of mass destruction.

There are three things about the book which make it a timeless classic. The first is the sheer, staggering amount of meticulous research and attention to detail that Rhodes brings to his narrative. One simply marvels at the wealth of sources he must have plumbed and the time he must have spent in making sense of them, the mountains of material he must have assimilated and sorted and the number of people he must have interviewed. This book stands as a model of exhaustive research on any topic. A related aspect is the immense breadth and sweep of events, people and places that Rhodes covers. He paints on a canvas that's expansive enough to accommodate everything from quantum mechanics to the human psyche. In this book he doesn't just give us the details of the first atomic bombs but also holds forth on, among other things: the fascinating political and military personalities of the era (FDR, Truman, LeMay), a history of physics in the first half of the twentieth century, ruminations on war and peace including accounts and interpretations of key events during both World Wars, an account of anti-Semitism in Europe, the beginnings of "Big Science" in the United States, the psychological aspects of scientific personality, the moral calculus of bombing, the political history of Europe between the wars and the detailed engineering that went into building weapons of war. There are sections on each of these topics and more, and even the digressions are deep and riveting enough to temporarily immerse the reader into an alternative topic (for instance, a six page account on Jewish history and persecution transports the reader). Long paragraphs of direct quotation allow the characters to speak in their own words. What is remarkable is that Rhodes makes the material utterly gripping in spite of the extraordinarily broad coverage and the level of detail and holds the reader's attention from beginning to end through an 800 page work. This is an achievement in itself.

The second aspect of this book that makes it such a fantastic read is the elegant, clear explanation of the science. It is no easy feat to describe the work of Rutherford and Oppenheimer on nuclear physics while at the same time dissecting the political manipulations of Churchill and Roosevelt. Yet Rhodes accomplishes a beautifully simplified (but not oversimplified) version of the momentous scientific ideas developed during the early twentieth century. He seems to have read the original papers on the neutron, radioactive transformations and nuclear fission and these sources are thoroughly documented in the extensive bibliography; key experiments and theories unravel into clear explanations supported by quotes from the original participants. In fact the first half of the book would be a first-rate introduction to the development of atomic physics and the life and times of brilliant scientists like Fermi, Heisenberg, Rutherford, Bohr, Chadwick, Einstein and the Curies who contributed to this discipline. These remarkable scientists are really at the center of Rhodes's account and their personalities and work come alive under his pen. This was physics during its most glorious age of discovery and nobody knew just how enormously it would impact politics and society; indeed, one of Rhodes's goals is to demonstrate how even the purest of science can have the most far-reaching practical and social ramifications. The work of all these scientists is set in revealing detail against the backdrop of growing anti-Semitism and political turmoil in Europe, and their subsequent emigration to the United States and England constitutes a very important chapter in this story. But the introduction of nuclear energy was primarily an act of science, and Rhodes excels in describing this science in patient and marvelous detail.

Finally, what ensures this book's place in history is Rhodes's mesmerizing prose, of the kind employed by the select few historians and novelists like Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Herodotus who opened our eyes to world-changing historical events and to the human condition. In Rhodes's hands the making of the atomic bomb turns into an epic tale of triumph and tragedy akin to the Greek tragedies or the Mahabharata. He brings a novelist's eye to his characters and portrays them as actors in a heroic drama of victory and woe; a great example is the unforgettable opening paragraph of the book in which the physicist Leo Szilard first thinks of a chain reaction while waiting for a traffic light in London. The leading lights of the narrative are Niels Bohr and Robert Oppenheimer, brilliant men who also saw deep into the future. And there are many others, human beings laid bare in all their glorious folly, frailty and greatness, struggling to comprehend both natural and human forces. There are no saints and sinners here, only complex humans struggling to understand and control forces that are sometimes beyond their immediate comprehension, often with unintended consequences. Rhodes relentlessly drives home the point that man's greatest gifts can also be the cause of his greatest evils. He makes it clear that science, politics and human nature are inextricably linked and you cannot perturb one without perturbing the other. Taming this combustible mix will be a struggle that we will always grapple with.

I first read "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" about fifteen years ago and consider it the most influential book I have ever come across. I am a scientist and the book completely changed my understanding of the inextricable relationship between science and society. Since then at any given moment I have about three copies of the book on my shelf, ready to be lent or gifted to anyone I feel might be interested. I consider it one of the best chronicles ever written about what human beings are capable of, both as creators and destroyers. In the making of the atomic bomb are lessons for all of humanity.
1 de 1 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Well worth the time and effort to read this... 18 de mayo de 2016
Por Bill - Publicado en Amazon.com
Compra verificada
A thorough overview of the science, the politics and the primary personalities involved in one of mankind's greatest journeys of discovery. Well written and full of detail, Rhodes gives us an insider's view of the scientific discoveries. Covering both the steps and missteps you can follow the chase for fission with only a basic understanding of fundamental ideas like atoms, protons & neutrons. One take away from witnessing this development of over 40+ years echoes down to us today: the experts - physicists, chemists & engineers - were many times sure they had a good bead on things only to discover their understanding was basically flawed through some new amazing twist. This happened numerous times as many different players struggled to use their limited insight to understand the contradiction of experimental results. Imagine what that means to us today for supposedly solved science topics like climate change.

All the major players are covered here from Neils Bohr, to Einstein, Fermi, Bethe, Teller, Szilard, Oppenheimer, et al. We read about their personalities, strengths and foibles, as well as their successes and notable failures. We also read about the politics behind the Manhattan Project which eventually leads to the decision to use the weapons on the Japanese. We follow the moral and ethical discussion without spin as seen through the eyes of some of the experts developing these devices, most notably Bohr & Oppenheimer.

For me, there were two parts of this book that will stay with me for some time. First is the description of the Trinity test as told by the experts on hand. As an engineer I stand in awe of the destructive power of one of these devices, even small ones. The films from Trinity are out on the web. They are instructive to watch. The second item is the chilling descriptions of the damage & horror inflicted upon those in the target areas of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. We do not ever want to see this occur again if it can be helped. This picture provides me a very good reason for wanting to make sure fanatical state players like Iran and North Korea do not get to play with these toys.

All in all, two thumbs way up.
7 de 7 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas The finest history book I've ever read. Period. 9 de febrero de 2014
Por SirWired - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Edición Kindle Compra verificada
In this work, Richard Rhodes has set a model for history books. He takes what by all rights should be a very dry subject, the history of Atomic bomb, and turns it into a compelling tale full of characters and events more interesting than most well-written novels. A basic history book tells you what happened, a mediocre history book tells you who made it happen, a decent history book tells you why it happened, a superb history book fills in the back-story so well that you can predict how it all turned out based on what you've already been told... i.e. of COURSE Edward Teller became the man almost singlehandedly responsible for the arms race; not because he was an evil man bent on power, but because his own personal experience with communism made him very eager to control it, no matter the (very high) cost.

This book traces the history of the atomic bomb going back to the beginnings of modern physics and continuing through the creation of the Hydrogen bomb. Along the way, you receive eminently readable explanations of all the science involved; I estimate that anyone that passed high school chemistry and physics should do just fine. You won't be designing your own bomb by the end of the book, but you will be able to have an intelligent conversation about them.

The highlight of the book is learning about the scientists involved; as you might expect, such extraordinary advances in science required extraordinary men and women to come up with them, and through the course of it's many pages, you will learn all about them. Some criticisms of this book call much of this "extraneous detail", but but I don't feel that's the case at all. Through all this background, you feel as if you truly understand the scientists, and most importantly, their motivations for doing what they did, and how they coped with the implications. The descriptions of the settings in which all this took place gives the whole book a "you are there" feel that is very difficult for works of non-fiction to produce.

Few of the scientists working on the Manhattan project were unaware of the consequences of their work; how each one coped with those consequences was different, and because of the detail provided by the work, you'll understand their different motivations and very different outcomes. Very few of the men and women involved were simple people, and treating them as caricatures, as so many history books do, leads understanding very little of the history involved, and why things turned out the way they did.

In conclusion: This book gives what will certainly go down in history as the definitive work on the creation of the atomic bomb. When studied in such detail, knowing what happened, and all about the men and women that made it happen, can provide important lessons as we scale new scientific frontiers yet to come.
2 de 2 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Highly recommended 25 de agosto de 2016
Por Amazon Customer - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Edición Kindle Compra verificada
It's a fascinating, long, and detailed history from before WWI until the end of WWII of the science, the scientists, the chance events and brilliant discoveries that ushered in the new field of nuclear physics, and that eventually led to the race to make a super-bomb before the Axis powers succeeded in doing so. It reads like a novel, a thriller, a horror story; sad, funny, inspirational and heartbreaking.

Many characters we already know (Einstein, Bohr, Fermi) but many of the most historically influential in this narrative are unknown to most (like the first guy to conceive of the notion of a chain reaction, who then later worked so hard to prevent the creation and use of an atomic weapon).

There are very detailed descriptions of the scientific techniques used at the time, revealing the painstaking detective work of those dedicated to the research. This contrasts with the political and military figures who, once they understood the implications and learned that other nations were also on the path, pushed for a practical implementation of the theory with extreme urgency. At the end is a gut wrenching account of the first days and the aftermath of the birth of the nuclear age.

Highly recommended.

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