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Here for the first time, in rich, human, political, and scientific detail, is the complete story of how the bomb was developed, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan.
Few great discoveries have evolved so swiftly—or have been so misunderstood. From the theoretical discussions of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity there was a span of hardly more than twenty-five years. What began as merely an interesting speculative problem in physics grew into the Manhattan Project, and then into the Bomb with frightening rapidity, while scientists known only to their peers—Szilard, Teller, Oppenheimer, Bohr, Meitner, Fermi, Lawrence, and yon Neumann—stepped from their ivory towers into the limelight. …[more]
The first major biography of John James Audubon in 40 years, and the first to illuminate fully the private and family life of the master illustrator of the natural world.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Rhodes shows us young Audubon arriving in New York from France in 1803, falling in love, marrying, and crossing the Appalachians to start a new life in frontier Kentucky. We see him exploring the wilderness of birds—pelicans wading the shallows of interior rivers, songbirds flocking, passenger pigeons darkening the skies—and teaching himself to revivify them in glorious life-size images.
We follow him to instant fame in England, where he labors to publish his grand work The Birds of America. In the beautiful, often heartbreaking letters he and his wife, Lucy, exchange across the Atlantic, we read of their great and enduring…[more]
It lurks in the meat we eat. Undetectable, it incubates for years. It kills by eating holes in people’s brains, so that they stagger and collapse and lose their minds. It’s one hundred percent fatal. And it’s already abroad in America.
Deadly Feasts reads like a Michael Crichton thriller—but it’s documented fact, bringing sober early warning of a new threat to our very lives that every one of us needs to heed. In this brilliant and gripping medical detective story, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes follows the daring explorations of maverick scientists as they track the emergence of the deadly “stealth” maladies known as prion diseases—strange new disease agents unlike any others known on earth. Mad cow disease is one. Besides hundreds of thousands of cattle, young people in Britain and France have already died from it—died from eating beef. …[more]
In this work of history, science and politics, Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, tells for the first time the secret story of how and why the hydrogen bomb was made; traces the path by which “the Bomb,” the supreme artifact of twentieth-century science and technology, became the defining issue of the Cold War; and reveals how close the world came to nuclear destruction before the United States and the former Soviet Union learned the lesson of nuclear stalemate—a stalemate, Rhodes makes clear, that forced the superpowers to tenuous truce for more than four decades, in the end bankrupting and destroying the Communist state and foreclosing world-scale war.
From the day in September 1941 when the first word of Anglo-American atomic-bomb research arrived in Moscow via Soviet espionage to the week of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when Curtis LeMay goaded President Kennedy to attack the USSR with everything in the US arsenal, this book is full of unexpected—and sometimes hair-raising—revelations based on previously undisclosed Soviet as well as US sources.