Ronald Clark's crisp and canny exploration of Britain's 'untold' participation in the development of atomic warfare was recently greeted in that country with kudos of and pleasure; it's unlikely, however, the same fate awaits it here. For The Birth the Bomb in a little too partisan and slyly slanted; though the tone is mostly impeccable, it does constitute a White Paper of sorts, ultimately downgrading our own Manhattan Project in favor of England's 1939-41 activities. Nevertheless, this once said, the book must be cited for an intensive, highly important, thoroughly intriguing recreation of a very game chain of reactions, super-secrets, pioneer pursuits, underground speculations and -and-dagger mischief culminating in Downing Street's Maud Committee uranium findings, a report which influenced USA defensive policy. Clark has interviewed many of the protagonists involved, including physicists Chadwick, Peierls, Frisch and Sir George Thomson, along with signaling France's famed Jollot-Curie and the all-important 'heavy water' escape the Nazis. Often resembling the stratagems of a spy thriller, covering differing aspects in different places and using until now classified information, ""Bomb"" makes of a complex and affair required reading and ripe reporting.