by Jennet Conant

Reviewer Rating:


This is the story of the Manhattan Project and the development of the first atomic bomb during World War II.  From 1943 until the end of WWII all other scientific research in the country came to a standstill while the greatest scientific talent was directed to this one critical project.  Nowhere has there ever been a time and place with such a high concentration of Nobel Laureates in Physics as this.  This is the true life, original x-file story that spawned so many science fiction novels and movies about secret government projects, UFOs and Spy vs. Spy scenarios.  I highly recommend this book.

It’s a very personal look at the scientists, their personalities, their families and their daily lives in a secret location where they were all under constant watch by the CIA and military.  The address of 109 Palace in Santa Fe is the entrance to Los Alamos where Dorothy McKibbin managed the personnel to this secret city.  Much of the book is based upon her unpublished journal from that era.  Dorothy, a young widow, is smitten by the Peter O'Toole good looks and charm of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant physicist and manager of the project.  Richard P. Feynman is the fun-loving, eccentric scientist who focused his intelligence concocting brilliant practical jokes that astonished his colleagues and whose young wife was dying of cancer.  This true historical account includes titanic egos in conflict, spies gathering secrets for the Soviets and the pioneering spirit of people building a secret, new town in the middle of nowhere in the New Mexico high desert.

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