The Making of the Atomic Bomb

The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Author Richard Rhodes
Country United States
Subject Manhattan Project
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover & paperback)
Pages 886 (hc)
ISBN 0-671-44133-7
OCLC 231117096
623.4/5119/09 19
LC Class QC773 .R46 1986
Followed by Dark 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. 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 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. Nowhere 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."[3]


  1. "Pulitzer Prize Winners: General Non-Fiction". Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  2. "National Book Awards – 1987". National Book Foundation. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  3. The book's entry on has this quote under "Editorial Reviews"

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