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Primer, the first document passed out to new recruits to the wartime enterprise, classified Secret Limited for twenty years after the Second World War and published here for the first time. Now contemporary readers can see just how much was known and how much remained to be learned when the Manhattan Project began. Would the "gadget," the atomic bomb, really work? How powerful would it be? Could it be made small enough and light enough to carry in a bomber? Could its.
This 1993 book explores how the 'critical assembly' of scientists at Los Alamos created the first atomic bombs.
Although Los Alarnos's military contribution to the defeat of Japan and then to the arms race that followed has been acknowledged many times, the complete story of Los Alamos must include (and often does not) its hesitant evolution after the war into a permanent outpost on the frontlines of the Cold War. From its location in north-central New Mexico, Los Alamos even today holds the distinction as the nation's premier center for nuclear energy and weapons research and development. Since 1943, when the United States Army constructed an instant city at Los Alamos to house the top-secret Manhattan Project, scientists, technicians, and their support staffs have conducted experiments at the site to release the binding energy of the atom. As a consequence of the Manhattan Project, the men and women at Los Alamos created the frst nuclear bombs and, after the war, developed ever more powerful weapons. Inventing Los Alamos narrates the incredible growth of the town, first as a wartime army post and then as a permanent fixture in the nation's nuclear firmament. To do so, Inventing Los Alamos not only focuses on the scientific and technical accomplishments of the laboratory but also on the establishment of a town that confronted many of the social and cultural issues of the Atomic Age before the rest of the country. Out of the chaos of the wartime post, Los Alamos invented itself as a modern model community, an atomic utopia for postwar America. The story of Los Alamos, of the men and women who worked there and of the families who lived there, has attained a mythical status in the United States. Thrown together on a remote plateau in the West, the scientists ventured beyond the known frontiers of science in creating a totally new weapon that ended the war. Of course, this story has been told many times, but the retellings usually focus on the scientific achievements of the project and are mainly confined to World War 11. Other aspects of the story, such as the social history of the community and the growth of the town in the decade after World War 11, deserve closer scrutiny.' To be sure, the laboratory at Los Alamos did concoct a new weapon and usher in a new age, but it also invented a new community. The town housed people from all walks of life as well as highly trained scientific and technical personnel. Los Alamos grew in population from two hundred to more than twelve thousand between 1943 and 1957. The people of Los Alamos built a laboratory that developed a wide variety of nuclear weapons. They also created a thriving community in which they lived and raised their families and, thus, developed a culture for the Atomic Age. During the early Cold War, the American public rarely penetrated the veil of secrecy that, like the barbed wire fences, guarded Los Alamos. Most Americans felt confident that the anonymous workers in the laboratory were patriotic Cold Warriors protecting America's national security. Some worried about shadow figures that diabolically held the world's fate in their hands. Behind the security fences, scientists and technicians did create awesome weapons capable of Cliocide (the death of Clio, the muse of history). At the same time, however, the community developed into a model town, with excellent schools, civic-minded citizens, and a pace-setting consumer culture. Just as the winning of World War I1 cannot be told without including the home front, the history of Los Alamos both during and after the war cannot be recounted solely by reciting the scientific successes of its laboratory. Cold War realities concerning secrecy, civil defense, and the manufacturing of radioactive elements affected not just the scientists at Los Alamos but impacted the evolution of the town and the families at the site. These issues, driven by wartime and then Cold War urgencies, made paradoxical claims on the people of Los Alamos and laid a foundation for the rest of the nation's accomodation to the atomic age. Inventing Los Alamos looks at the men and women who chose to live there, at the children who grew up there, at the families that called Los Alamos home, and at the culture they created. At the same time, it considers what the scientists, technicians, and military personnel did there to change history. It is easy to portray the founders of the Atomic Age as heroes or villains, either as saving Western civilization or as threatening the very existence of the human race. But taking sides on this emotional topic misses the complex nature of the issues and of the community at Los Alamos. Despite the impressive scientific work at Los Alamos (including discoveries that won Nobel Prizes), the majority of the people there (including those Nobel Prize winners) shopped for groceries, cooked meals, argued with their spouses and children, and carried on as normally as possible in that unique community. Three interesting paradoxes surface when looking at the community of Los Alamos. First, it was an exclusive place that developed weapons capable of colossal destruction at the same time that it evolved into a model community with all the amenities of postwar America. Second, with the residential part of the town sealed off by fences and guards, residents considered it a safe place while at the same time the lab produced and dumped in nearby canyons some of the most toxic elements known to man. Third, with the breadwinner's job hidden by secrecy, spouses and children often knew little about what was done at work. The surprise here is that families did not submit to the enforced silence, but rather found other ways to express themselves, from poking fun at army rules to challenging governmental policy. Inventing Los Alamos explores these and other aspects of the social history of Los Alamos. Several interlocking groups of people impacted the community at Los Alamos. The town existed almost entirely for the core comrnunity of scientists and technicians working in the top-secret laboratory who experimented at first on nuclear weapons and then increasingly on high-speed computers, lasers, nuclear medicine, and other spinoffs of high-energy physics. Because of national security, secrecy veiled their work. The secrecy meant that the men and women working on sensitive projects often confided in their co-workers more than their own spouses. A community of families surrounded this core scientific community at the laboratory. The residential area of Los Alamos, like an oyster surrounding a pearl, supplied support for the staff at the laboratory to engage in their research. The residential community included stores, theaters, churches, and schools-many of the services required for a town of families. Between the outer fence surrounding the entire community at Los Alamos and the inner fence guarding just the laboratory, the residential area was the first place in the United States that families encountered the challenges of the Atomic Age and invented identities to respond to that challenge. Beyond the fences at Los Alamos, two other forces contributed to the town's growth. First, the towns, villages, and pueblos of northern New Mexico supported Los Alamos with workers who built and maintained the town's facilities, drove the trucks and buses, assisted with experiments, and operated the power plants. For many native New Mexicans, employment at Los Alamos provided a cash income in one of the poorest regions of the nation. Conversely, northern New Mexico impacted Los Alamos since Los Alamosans soaked up the ancient history and appropriated the diverse cultures of the region. This cultural switching is a time-honored tradition in northern New Mexico. After contact with the Spanish settlers in the sixteenth century, American Indians taught the Europeans how to live in the challenging environment. Upon the opening of the Santa Fe Trail in 1821, Hispanics and American Indians similarly tutored the newly arrived Anglo Americans. And in the 1940s and 1950s, many of these native New Mexicans instructed the residents at Los Alamos in the mysteries and delights of living in northern New Mexico. A borrowing or switching of cultures often occurs on the frontier between societies. At the birthplace of the bomb, on the frontier of a new age, such cultural switching assisted residents in negotiating the dangerous shoals of nuclear energy. Another force that affected Los Alamos was neither local nor regional. Since Los Alamos was a federal reserve, controlled and funded by the federal government, events and policies emanating from the nation's capital often affected it more than the laws passed by the New Mexico state legislature in nearby Santa Fe. Although Los Alamos
A social history of New Mexico’s “Atomic City” Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the Atomic Age, is the community that revolutionized modern weaponry and science. An “instant city,” created in 1943, Los Alamos quickly grew to accommodate six thousand people—scientists and experts who came to work in the top-secret laboratories, others drawn by jobs in support industries, and the families. How these people, as a community, faced both the fevered rush to create an atomic bomb and the intensity of the subsequent cold-war era is the focus of Jon Hunner’s fascinating narrative history. Much has been written about scientific developments at Los Alamos, but until this book little has been said about the community that fostered them. Using government records and the personal accounts of early residents, Inventing Los Alamos, traces the evolution of the town during its first fifteen years as home to a national laboratory and documents the town’s creation, the lives of the families who lived there, and the impact of this small community on the Atomic Age.
From the bestselling author of Tuxedo Park, the fascinating story of the 3,000 people who lived together in near confinement for more than two intense and conflicted years under J. Robert Oppenheimer and the world's best scientists to produce the Atomic Bomb and win World War II. They were told as little as possible. Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe--the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end. Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer's by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author's grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer's past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced. In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.
The fascinating story of the men who founded the nuclear age, fully told for the first time The story of the twentieth century is largely the story of the power of science and technology. Within that story is the incredible tale of the human conflict between Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller-the scientists most responsible for the advent of weapons of mass destruction. How did science-and its practitioners-enlisted in the service of the state during the Second World War, become a slave to its patron during the Cold War? The story of these three men, builders of the bombs, is fundamentally about loyalty-to country, to science, and to each other-and about the wrenching choices that had to be made when these allegiances came into conflict. Gregg Herken gives us the behind-the-scenes account based upon a decade of research, interviews, and newly released Freedom of Information Act and Russian documents. Brotherhood of the Bomb is a vital slice of American history told authoritatively-and grippingly-for the first time.
This book is an honest attempt towards a serious project to present an objective analysis of U.S. foreign policy for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. These three nations have played very important and very significant role in forming U.S. foreign policy. The book has in detail narrated how US failed as a super power. How CIA created the monster of Talibans, how it financed Bin laden, how CIA encouraged drug trafficking and looked in other direction when Pakistan and nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan was engaged into manufacturing of nuclear device with the financial support from Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Muslim nations and very active technical support from North Korea. Book has extensively quoted congressional hearings and other publication to focus how Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q.Khan and his KRL facility was turned into a Wal -Mart of nuclear weapons which has put the entire world on the brink of nuclear disaster.

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