Note: If you don’t like long books, a judgment that any reader is entitled to make skip this entry. This book is not a book that even a long book reader would bring to the beach.

This cold weather book is serious but not ponderous, comprehensive but not exhausting. I wish he would write a book about climate change.
Rhodes brilliantly describes the making and using of the first atomic bomb from scientific, political, military and personal perspectives. His authorial perspective is one of empathy for all participants and the difficult choices that they made. Yet without saying that the bomb should not have been developed or that the bomb should not have been used, there’s an inevitability in both cases, this book is strongly anti-war. When discussing Hiroshima, he says “the silence was the only sound the dead could make. In what follows among the living, remember them… Their experience most accurately models the worst case of our common future.” True in 1986 still true today.