Email this review


This is a detailed account of the development of the atomic bomb by two ashington correspondents who have been granted access to numerous secret documents and files. But in an Acknowledgment the authors protest the Army's refusal to release certain papers from the files of the Manhattan Project in the name of ""national security"". Much of the material included here has been treated before in other books: the efforts of the Japanese ministers to modify the allies' ""unconditional surrender"" demand; the construction of the Potsdam declaration; the beginnings of atomic research at the start of the war and the development of the Manhattan Project and the Los Alamos Center; the secret training of the Air Force's 509th squadron; Truman's belated knowledge of the Bomb; the difficulties of deciding how the Bomb should be used; and the eventual holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But the authors' approach is essentially journalistic and they have dramatized the events leading up to the actual dropping of the bomb and the circumstances in which the citizens of the two demolished cities found themselves and the result is a vivid and horrifying picture. Basically, though, their book is an objective one and they refrain from making the moral comment (although they include various conflicting opinions of the desirability of using the bomb) which was forcefully presented in Michael Amrine's book The Great Decision published by Putnam last year.

Pub Date: June 8th, 1960
Publisher: Harper