The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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The Making of the Atomic Bomb
The Making of the Atomic Bomb.png
AuthorRichard Rhodes
CountryUnited States
SubjectManhattan Project
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover & paperback)
Pages886 (hardcover)
623.4/5119/09 19
LC ClassQC773 .R46 1986
Followed byDark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb 

The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a contemporary history book written by the American journalist and historian Richard Rhodes, first published by Simon & Schuster in 1987. It won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction,[1] the National Book Award for Nonfiction,[2] and a National Book Critics Circle Award.[3] The narrative covers people and events from early 20th century discoveries leading to the science of nuclear fission, through the Manhattan Project and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Praised both by historians and former Los Alamos weapon engineers and scientists, the book is considered a general authority on early nuclear weapons history, as well as the development of modern physics in general, during the first half of the 20th century. Nobel Laureate I. I. Rabi, one of the prime participants in the dawn of the atomic age, called it "an epic worthy of Milton. No where else have I seen the whole story put down with such elegance and gusto and in such revealing detail and simple language which carries the reader through wonderful and profound scientific discoveries and their application."[4]


  1. ^ "The 1988 Pulitzer Prize Winner in General Nonfiction". The Pulitzer Prizes | Columbia University. n.d. Archived from the original on 5 March 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2022. For a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category, Three thousand dollars ($3,000).
  2. ^ "The Making of the Atomic Bomb | Winner, National Book Awards 1987 for Nonfiction". National Book Foundation. n.d. Archived from the original on 29 June 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  3. ^ "1987 Winners & Finalists". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  4. ^ The book's entry on has this quote under "Editorial Reviews"

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