Here the development of nuclear weapons is viewed from the perspective of the scientist. From the discovery of fission to the Manhattan Project, to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the arms race and early steps toward arms control, this book provides a context for developments in the period 1939-1963. It discusses the scientists' technical contributions, the novelty of working for the government on a secret project, political lobbying, the private anguish over the morality of creating weapons of mass destruction while being subject to public adoration as the wizards who produced the bomb, and finally the rapid descent for some into the shattering category of security risk during the McCarthy period. Lawrence Badash traces the course of this tumultuous and apocalyptic period with scientific clarity and sympathetic understanding.
"[Badash's] admirable book . . . is authoritative (good bibliography), and yet it is good reading." -Choice