A history of the development of the atomic bomb and its use in World War II

The Manhattan Project

A Documentary Introduction to the Atomic Age

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edited by Michael B. Stoff

"Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds." Robert Oppenheimer was reminded of this line from the Bhagarad Gita upon witnessing the explosion of the first atomic bomb. This successful conclusion of the Manhattan Project was the beginning of the Atomic Age in which the contradictions of success and failure are manifold. This book is a history of the development of the atomic bomb and its use in World War II. The account consists largely of documents. many of which are reproduced in facsimile—letters, diary entries, reports on meetings, newspaper accounts, excerpts from memoirs, and other papers—beginning with Albert Einsteinís famous letter of August 2, 1939 to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Opening with a very accessible narrative introduction by Michael B. Stoff, the book is divided into six major parts, each with its own introduction. The study covers the initial planning of the project, the massive security surrounding it, discussions about the bombís usefulness in controlling international relations, the scientistsí debates over technical and ethical problems. The Potsdam Conference, the deployment of the bomb and Japanís surrender, and subsequent reports on future use and development of atomic weapons. Included as appendices are an historical chronology a list of major figures with information about their roles. eight maps, and a bibliography.


About the Author(s)

Michael B. Stoff is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas, Austin.

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