At an isolated location along the Columbia River in 1944, the world's first plutonium factory became operational, producing fuel for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II. Former Seattle Times science writer Hill Williams traces the amazing, tragic story - from the dawn of nuclear science to Cold War testing in the Marshall Islands.
The book is published by Washington State University Press.
©2011 Board of Regents of Washington State University (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks
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"Good historical read"
I live in the area and found the truth not always available here. Interesting information about process of establishing the Handford site.
This is the second book I have heard narrated by Sean Schroeder, both have been "good listens"
My mother was a "down winder" effected by radiation releases from Hanford as a teen and young adult. The casual disregard for damaging impacts to citizens demonstrated by the Handford administration in their frantic efforts to develop the bomb continue to this day.
"Revealing review of the birth of the Atomic Bomb"
Near the top. If you like history and an exceptional "behind the scene" perspective, you will enjoy this book. Williams covers all aspect of the bomb's development from the accidental discovery of Plutonium to the extreme security matters put into place.
General Grove, the controversial leader of the project, most responsible for making theory into fact. Not sure that i would enjoy a social evening with him, but I would definitely want him running a project that had to be accomplished, despite any obstacles.
As the narrator, Schroeder handles all of the characters and the story perfectly. This is a fact-filled book that could easily degenerate into dull, esoteric rhetoric. Schroeder keeps his enthusiasm from the first page to the last.
Awe and amazement of the accomplishment in such a short period, It is even more amazing that we did not have a devastating explosion during development as no one really knew what they were doing or the dangers involved.
The writing isn't the best. It jumps around time wise but the narration makes the whole thing worse. It sounds like the longest sentence in history. The whole time I kept wondering why the narrator was so angry. He must have been very angry about the contract he was working under, or at the author, or at his boss, or at his wife, or at something because he murdered this story with his awful narration. I've added him to my Bad Narrators list.
"Good local history mixed with global historical context"
Written by local journalist whose newspaper-editor father was part of the Hanford history. It doesn't shy away from the horrendous injustices (e.g., treatment of Marshall Islanders), though it definitely adopts an implicitly supportive tone for the bomb effort.
"Interesting but dry"
This is a very interesting story about an important historical time. The author did a great job of documenting the events. At times the book does sound like a list of facts though. I think it would have been more interesting to hear about the important people's lives and how they interacted. A good book regardless.
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