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Now It Can Be Told (1962)

av Leslie R. Groves

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1303209,705 (3.82)3
General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer were the two men chiefly responsible for the building of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, code name "The Manhattan Project." As the ranking military officer in charge of marshalling men and material for what was to be the most ambitious, expensive engineering feat in history, it was General Groves who hired Oppenheimer (with knowledge of his left-wing past), planned facilities that would extract the necessary enriched uranium, and saw to it that nothing interfered with the accelerated research and swift assembly of the weapon.This is his story of the political, logistical, and personal problems of this enormous undertaking which involved foreign governments, sensitive issues of press censorship, the construction of huge plants at Hanford and Oak Ridge, and a race to build the bomb before the Nazis got wind of it. The role of groves in the Manhattan Project has always been controversial. In his new introduction the noted physicist Edward Teller, who was there at Los Alamos, candidly assesses the general's contributions#151;and Oppenheimer's#151;while reflecting on the awesome legacy of their work.… (mer)
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Interesting account of the development of the atomic bomb by the man who was responsible for making it happen. ( )
  hadden | Jun 25, 2015 |
An interesting memoir of the Manhattan project by the Army Corp of Engineers General, Leslie Groves, who organized and oversaw the project from its inception through the beginning of the post-war nuclear age and whose previous job was the design and construction of the Pentagon. Two things struck me while reading this book. The first was what he did say about the project. According to him, everyone involved with the project was the absolute best person for the job, did the job beyond spec, and with selfless patriotism. All of the contractors involved were above reproach, and there were never any environmental or security problems under his watch. I find this very hard to believe. The second thing that struck me, of course, was what he didn't say. Almost nothing about the Soviet spy Klaus Fuchs except to say he was evil and that his participation in the project was the fault of the British. Oppenheimer's name was mentioned maybe 3-4 times, and always as vital to the project. No mention that both Groves and Edward Teller, who wrote the forward, testified against him before the House Un-American Activities, accusing him of being a communist, which ultimately led to his security clearance being stripped.

It was very much the memoir of a man who spent most of his adult life as a military engineer. A lot of facts and history, a lot of praise for those within his chain of command, but very little in the way of drama. Having just moved near Hanford, it was interesting to learn about how the city and the lab was built up, but by the end, I felt that too much was left out to be a complete story. I would recommend it as interesting supplementary material for a study of the project, but if you're looking for a comprehensive history of the Manhattan project, this isn't it. ( )
  craigim | Dec 16, 2011 |
Many will probably mention Oppenheimer as the head of the Manhattan Project, but its actual head was Leslie M. Groves. Groves was a general, had been in charge of building Pentagon, and was eagerly waiting to get away from construction and "abroad" to combat when he was assigned to a project he has not heard about. My edition has an interesting foreword by Edward Teller who recounts a meeting with James Chadwick, that with an unusual insistence said "Without Groves, [...] the scientists could never have built the bomb.
  fnielsen | Feb 13, 2009 |
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General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer were the two men chiefly responsible for the building of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, code name "The Manhattan Project." As the ranking military officer in charge of marshalling men and material for what was to be the most ambitious, expensive engineering feat in history, it was General Groves who hired Oppenheimer (with knowledge of his left-wing past), planned facilities that would extract the necessary enriched uranium, and saw to it that nothing interfered with the accelerated research and swift assembly of the weapon.This is his story of the political, logistical, and personal problems of this enormous undertaking which involved foreign governments, sensitive issues of press censorship, the construction of huge plants at Hanford and Oak Ridge, and a race to build the bomb before the Nazis got wind of it. The role of groves in the Manhattan Project has always been controversial. In his new introduction the noted physicist Edward Teller, who was there at Los Alamos, candidly assesses the general's contributions#151;and Oppenheimer's#151;while reflecting on the awesome legacy of their work.

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