Monday, August 2, 2010

Atomic Bomb- 65 yrs ago

On August 6, 1945 (sixty-five years ago), the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, instantly killing 70,000 people. Three days later, a second bomb struck Nagasaki, killing another 40,000. On the 65th anniversary of the bombings, several books explore this military decision and the people behind it. American Prometheus by Kai Bird is a rich sympathetic portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer, hero, patriot and “Father of the Atomic Bomb” who remains a key figure in 20-century American history. Stephane Groueff’s Manhattan Project, the untold story of the making of the atomic bomb has a non-technical narrative of the actual making of the first atomic bomb with an accent on the personal cases of the participants and the industrial companies that built it. The American b-29 bomber the Enola Gay which dropped the atomic bomb is in the National Air and Space Museum collection. This is one of the 34 legendary World War II aircraft in the new book “In the Cockpit 2 planes of Smithsonian” which provides close-up access to the instrument panels, controls, and crew stations.

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