Tuesday, November 8, 2016

[Book] Dark Sun - Richard Rhodes

You know that a book is going to keep you busy reading for a while when the page count is 750, excluding the 40 pages with photographs. You know that the book is likely to be well-researched when the list of books referenced (bibliography) runs 35 pages and footnotes for chapters take up 110 pages. You know that the author has done a splendid job with writing when, after finishing an 850-page book you are desperate enough to immediately order another 800-page beast of a book by him. 

"Dark Sun" is that book, and Richard Rhodes is the author. His "Making of Atomic Bomb" chronicled the invention of nuclear weapons; in the "Dark Sun" he takes us further, to the dawn of thermonuclear... The hydrogen bomb. It's a script apt for a movie thriller, full of espionage, betrayal, works of genius, and torture. It tells the story of spies like Klaus Fuchs and the Rosenbergs, the brilliance of physicists like Ulam and Kurchatov, the belligerence of military leaders like LeMay and Beria. 

The sinister shadow of mushroom cloud looms large across each page, and it doesn't even have a silver lining... Instead, it ends in the heartbreaking tragedy of espionage trial of a giant of science like Robert Oppenheimer by paranoid bureaucrats and jealous colleagues. 

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