“Bomb,” a Historical Triumph or a Historical Tragedy?

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Steve Sheinkin’s “Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” is a good book that made me think about what was going on in the course of World W

Steve Sheinkin’s “Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” is a good book that made me think about what was going on in the course of World War II (WWII) and what suddenly changed science during that time.

 

In late December of 1938, Otto Hahn, a German scientist, made a shocking discovery that when uranium atoms were placed next to a radioactive element, the speeding protons from the radioactive element split the uranium atoms. This discovery started a major race spanning three continents and the contestants were the greatest scientists, the greatest spies, and some expertly trained military commanders from Germany, Norway, Russia, Great Britain, and North America.

 

One of the funniest stories in the book is about a very famous scientist named Richard Feynman who, at a laboratory at Los Alamos, when he was bored, taught himself a mischievous game; picking locks. When he wanted a report, and the scientist whom he wanted the report from wasn’t around, he would pick the safe-lock and take the report out to read. Afterwards, Feynman would give it back, and tell he got it out of their locked filing cabinet. Needless to say, the military was not amused.

 

Sheinkin describes the entire plot of WWII, from small events (like a group of friends throwing Nazis into a lake) to larger ones (like the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). I loved the way the book constantly made me think. It was fun for me to try to predict what was coming next in the story. I felt sad when the book was over because it was so well written. I would have liked the author to have talked about the bomb’s tragic effects on the people of Japan more than he did, though. I recommend this book to people who are interested in science and history and who are 10 and over, because it might be boring for people under 10 years old. However, anybody that reads this book should reflect upon the events happening in it because WWII is a very important part of history.