Heisenberg's War

Heisenberg's War

The Secret History of the German Bomb

Book - 1993
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Baker & Taylor
A close-up look at Nazi attempts to build an atomic bomb describes the German bomb program, the Allied response to it, and the roles of some of the twentieth century's leading physicists--including Oppenheimer, Bohr, Weisskopf, and Heisenberg. 30,000 first printing. $35,000 ad/promo. Tour.

Blackwell North Amer
One of the Most important - and controversial - aspects of the history of the Second World War is the failure of the Germans to build an atomic bomb. Germany was the birthplace of modern physics; it possessed the raw materials and the industrial base, and although many leading scientists fled from Hitler, it still commanded key intellectual resources. Yet at the end of the war the Germans had no bomb, and their nuclear research program was found to be negligible. What happened?
Until now the conventional view has been that the Germans doubted that the bomb could be built, and were thus unwilling to try. In Heisenberg's War, Thomas Powers offers a radically new and convincing explanation - and in doing so reveals for the first time the entire complex fascinating story of the interplay between science and espionage, morality aid military necessity, paranoia and cool logic, that marked the German bomb program and the Allied response to it.
It is a story that revolves around some of the most famous scientists of our time: Niels Bohr, Robert Oppenheimer, Victor Weisskopf, Hans Bethe, Otto Hahn, and, most important the great Werner Heisenberg, one of the twentieth century's principal scientific minds and the only physicist of his stature to stay on in Nazi Germany. We see these men engrossed not only by the enormous challenge of understanding atomic energy; but also by the exigencies of ethics and wartime intelligence, engaging in plots and activities that would have shocked them under other circumstances. Secret messages, dangerous misunderstandings, undercover missions, increasingly panicky efforts by the Americans and the British to find out what the Germans were up to, even an American plan to have Heisenberg assassinated by an OSS gunman (an ex-major league baseball player) in Switzerland in 1944 - all these play a part in Powers's dramatic narrative.
Pieced together after years of documentary research and dozens of interviews with surviving participants, told with style and authority, Heisenberg's War is an extraordinary combination of spy story and serious historical investigation. It will stand as the definitive account of a deeply significant chapter in modern history.

& Taylor

A close-up look at Nazi attempts to build an atomic bomb describes the German bomb program, the Allied response to it, and the roles of some of the twentieth-century's leading physicists

Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1993
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780394514116
Characteristics: xi, 607 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 25 cm


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