The Making of the Atomic Bomb

by Richard Rhodes

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Themes of Anti-Semitism and Jewish Identity

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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1692

Rhodes devotes considerable attention to the impact of anti-Semitism and Jewish identity on the careers of many of the scientists who contributed to the Manhattan Project. Because of the rise of fascism and anti-Semitism in Germany and other parts of Europe during the 1930s, many Jewish scientists fled to England and the United States where they generally found posts at prominent universities. Jewish nuclear physicists who fled Nazism included Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Lise Meitner, Leo Szilard, Edward Teller, and Eugene Wigner, all of whose efforts were essential to the creation of the first atomic bomb. As prominent Jewish scientists, many of these men and women had been particularly vulnerable as targets for assassination by Hitler.

The rise of Hitler in Germany had a cataclysmic effect on the lives of many prominent German- Jewish scientists in the years preceding World War II. Hitler came to power as chancellor of Germany in 1933, at which time he immediately initiated anti- Semitic policies, both official and unofficial. Soon after coming into power, Hitler organized a national boycott of Jewish businesses, which was accompanied by random acts of public violence committed against Jews. A week later, the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service determined that all non-Aryan, particularly Jewish, university faculty were to be fired from their posts. This was a devastating blow to both the Jewish and the scientific communities of Germany. According to Rhodes, some 16,000 university faculty members lost their jobs, including eleven current or future Nobel Prize winners. A third of the faculty of both the University of Berlin and the University of Frankfurt were let go. Over one hundred physicists, fully one fourth of the physicists in Germany, were fired.

Jewish and non-Jewish scientists in England and the United States quickly founded organizations for the specific purpose of aiding German- Jewish scientists fleeing Nazi Germany. Szilard and Rutherford organized the Academic Assistance Council in England. John Dewey in the United States organized the Faculty Fellowship Fund at Colombia University. Similarly, the Institute for International Education organized the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German Scholars in the United States. Britain and the United States, therefore, harbored a majority of the displaced scientists. Rhodes notes that some one hundred Jewish physicists settled in the United States between 1933 and 1941.

By the 1920s, Einstein, living in Berlin, was among the most celebrated physicists alive. As a Jew, his international prominence marked him as a thorn in the side of Nazi Germany. Einstein had become an outspoken and highly regarded figure of Jewish pride. In a tour of the United States in 1921, where he was warmly received by American Jews, he raised money for a Hebrew university in Palestine (now Israel). As Rhodes observes, Einstein ‘‘was now not only the most famous scientist in the world but also a known spokesman for Jewish causes.’’ Einstein’s outspoken pacifism during World War I added to anti-Semitic prejudices against him on the part of German nationalists. As Rhodes comments, ‘‘It rankled German chauvinists, including rightist students and some physicists, that the eyes of the world should turn to a Jew who had declared himself a pacifist during the bloodiest of nationalistic wars and who spoke out for internationalism now.’’ An anti-Jewish organization, the Committee of German Scientists for the Preservation of Pure Scholarship, met publicly to criticize Einstein’s theory of relativity as, according to Rhodes, ‘‘a Jewish corruption.’’ In the spring of 1933, Einstein, under the impending threat of assassination by Nazi forces, fled Germany and renounced his German citizenship. He was offered a position at Princeton...

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University, in New Jersey, where he remained throughout the rest of his life.

Bohr, a Danish-Jewish physicist, fled his native Copenhagen in 1943, after it was invaded by Hitler. While Hitler wished to ‘‘eliminate’’ Danish Jews, the Danish population rallied in support of its Jewish inhabitants, successfully hiding many of them from Nazi officials. Bohr and his son, himself a promising physicist, were specifically targeted by Hitler as prominent scientists. They escaped to Sweden, however, where Bohr made efforts to convince Swedish authorities to publicly announce their willingness to harbor Jews escaping Nazioccupied Denmark. Rhodes points out that ‘‘Niels Bohr played a decisive part in the rescue of the Danish Jews.’’ However, even in Stockholm, Bohr was in danger of assassination by German agents and was secretly flown out of the country in a flight during which he almost died from lack of oxygen. Bohr arrived in England in time to join the British team of scientists who traveled to Los Alamos to work on the Manhattan Project.

Meitner, an Austrian born Jewish physicist, became vulnerable to Nazi persecution after Hitler took Austria in 1938, making it a province of the Third Reich. Meitner contacted a colleague in Holland, who arranged with government officials for her entry into Holland without a visa or passport. Traveling by train from Berlin to Holland, Meitner was in fear for her safety; Rhodes quotes Meitner’s explanation that ‘‘‘I knew that the Nazis had just declared open season on Jews, that the hunt was on.’’’ With Bohr’s help, Meitner was given a post at the Physical Institute of the Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, and provided with a grant from the Nobel Foundation.

Although Fermi himself was not Jewish, his wife Laura was. In 1938, they began to make plans for fleeing fascist Italy, then occupied by German forces. Fermi took advantage of the opportunity to travel to Sweden in order to accept his Nobel Prize, cleverly convincing Italian authorities to allow him to bring his wife with him. He had already accepted a position at Colombia University.

Rhodes discusses the noteworthy phenomenon that ‘‘seven of the twentieth century’s most exceptional scientists’’ were Hungarian Jews. Among such notable figures were Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, and Edward Teller, all of whom were instrumental in the Manhattan Project. Rhodes explains that the Hungarian Revolution of 1918, known as the Red Terror, was put down in 1919 and replaced with a fascist regime known as the White Terror. What resulted was, as Rhodes describes it, ‘‘a selective but unrelenting anti-Semitism that drove tens of thousands of Jews into exile.’’ Szilard fled to Vienna in 1933, then on to London in 1934, arriving in the United States in 1937, where he taught at Colombia University. Teller arrived in the United States in 1935, where he took a post at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. In 1941, he became a U.S. citizen and relocated to the University of Chicago, where he worked with Fermi, then to the University of California at Berkeley, where he worked with Oppenheimer. Wigner, also a refugee from anti-Semitic Hungary, was hired by Princeton in 1930.

As refugees from Nazi Germany, now working at such institutions as Colombia and Princeton Universities, they were in a unique position to meet and discuss the political implications of recent breakthroughs in the field of nuclear physics. Their sense of urgency in attempting to alert the United States government was in part motivated by a realistic fear that German scientists were coming to the same conclusions and that Nazi Germany, if it developed an atomic bomb before the United States, could succeed in dominating Europe, if not the world. In 1939, Szilard and Wigner were the first scientists to make serious efforts to contact the United States government in regard to the idea of the atomic bomb. Together, they visited Einstein at his home in Princeton, where they explained recent developments in nuclear physics and their implications for atomic warfare. Although he had not been aware of these developments, Einstein immediately understood them and agreed to draft a letter to President Roosevelt. As foreigners, however, these brilliant scientists encountered obstacles in their attempts to communicate with American officials. Einstein’s written English was not perfect, so he drafted the letter in German for translation into English; but even a letter from the celebrated Einstein was not enough to convince authorities in Washington. Fermi later traveled to Washington to present their findings before a group of military and government officials. However, having recently escaped fascist Italy, he was met with American prejudice when someone announced his arrival by referring to him as a ‘‘wop,’’ a derogatory term for an Italian.

Distrust of Jewish foreigners on the part of United States officials persisted even throughout the Manhattan Project. Einstein himself, due to his lifelong commitment to world peace, was considered a security risk and not informed of the existence of the Manhattan Project; he in fact was not made aware of work on the atomic bomb until after the bombing of Hiroshima. Absurdly, Szilard, the most ardent and persistent in his repeated attempts to inform the United States of the importance of the atomic bomb, came under suspicion and was followed by secret agents during the course of the Manhattan Project. Rhodes observes that reports derived from ‘‘the surveillance of an innocent but eccentric man’’ were essentially comedic; official reports included such information as the fact that Szilard, a Hungarian Jew, occasionally spoke in a foreign language, that most of his friends were ‘‘of Jewish extraction,’’ and that he frequently shopped at delicatessens.

Anti-Semitism and the Jewish identity of many of the world’s most brilliant physicists played a significant role in the series of events that led up to the creation of the first atomic bomb. The rise of Nazism in Europe resulted in the emigration of many scientists to the United States and England. The status of these scientists as refugees from the persecution of Hitler’s Germany increased their sense of urgency in desiring that the United States create an atomic bomb before German scientists achieved the same end. As foreigners, however, their vocal and ardent devotion to an Allied victory in World War II did not place them above suspicion in the eyes of the United States government.

Source: Liz Brent, Critical Essay on The Making of the Atomic Bomb, in Nonfiction Classics for Students, The Gale Group, 2001. Brent has a Ph.D. in American Culture, specializing in film studies, from the University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and teaches courses in the history of American cinema.

Science and Society in Rhodes' Book

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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 2162

Rhodes’ The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a wellcrafted book with prose that is clear, understandable, and very engaging. Indeed, the book is hard to put down at times. No wonder it was received with almost universal critical acclaim and won three major book awards: the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. Rhodes gathers a fascinating cast of characters from the past and tells their stories in a lively, captivating style.

However, this focus on individuals is also one of the weak points of the book. In focusing on personalities, Rhodes gives short shrift to the role of culture and institutions in the historical drama that unfolds. For example, he underestimates the signifi- cance of the blind faith Americans had in science during the 1930s and 1940s. This has led society to an overly optimistic belief in the redemptive powers of experts, both historically and in the present. In short, Rhodes’ book puts an overly optimistic spin on the relationship between science and society.

One of the cultural influences on science that Rhodes does briefly explore is science fiction. Leo Szilard, one of the developers of the bomb and a central actor in the book, was heavily influenced by the work of H. G. Wells. In particular, Szilard was inspired by The Open Conspiracy, which refers to Wells’ vision of a public trust of science-minded businessmen and financiers who establish a type of global republic. Their mission is nothing less than the salvation of the world. Rhodes continues, ‘‘Szilard appropriated Wells’ term and used it off and on for the rest of his life.’’ Indeed, Szilard was so inspired by the idea of the ‘‘Open Conspiracy’’ that he tried to create one several times (a clear example of science fiction influencing science practitioners).

The theme of the ‘‘Open Conspiracy’’ is an important one; it recurs throughout the book and provides an excellent illustration of the hubris of scientists during this period. This points toward the weakest element of the book: Rhodes’ uncritical acceptance of the point of view that dominated the physical sciences during the 1940s. Physicists like Szilard and Niels Bohr (another prominent physicist who thought that the atomic bomb would make war obsolete) believed that science could create a better world. Or, as Rhodes puts it, ‘‘discoveries Szilard made in literature and utopianism opened his mind to new approaches to world salvation.’’ The literature in question is actually H. G. Wells’ The World Set Free. According to Szilard, the novel envisions ‘‘the liberation of atomic energy on a large scale for industrial purposes, the development of atomic bombs, and a world war.’’ In turn, this book informed Szilard’s vision of what the agenda for physicists should be.

Even prior to this, Szilard attempted to create an ‘‘Open Conspiracy’’ of his own in Germany in the form of Der Bund, which Rhodes translates as ‘‘the order, the confederacy or, more simply, the band.’’ This group was comprised of young physicists that Szilard organized in 1930. One of the fine things Rhodes does throughout the book is use extensive quotes from primary sources (in other words, the original documents written by the historical actors he is studying). Thus, he quotes Szilard’s own ideas regarding the Bund, which is meant to be ‘‘a closely knit group of people whose inner bond is pervaded by a religious and scientific spirit.’’ Szilard believed that this group should be able to influence public affairs even if it had no formal power. Or perhaps the Bund might even ‘‘take over a more direct influence on public affairs as part of the political system, next to government and parliament, or in the place of government and parliament.’’ This quote is indicative of the kind of presumption found among many scientists during the 1930s and 1940s and serves as a cautionary flag for the critical reader.

However, this is not to say that all scientists were bent on a monolithic conspiracy to take over the world. In fact, many of the scientists involved in weapons work had deep-seated misgivings about the moral implications of their work. For example, scientist Edward Teller (who was involved with the development of both fission and fusion bombs) had deep reservations about the morality of his work with weapons. Rhodes quotes him, ‘‘To deflect my attention from physics, my full-time job which I liked, to work on weapons, was not an easy matter.’’ Indeed, Teller agonized over the decision for ‘‘quite a time.’’ Here Rhodes has an opportunity to explore the internal workings of a scientist who is debating the course that his discipline has charted during the 1930s and 1940s.

Even though Rhodes includes some of this scientific soul-searching, he downplays its signifi- cance. For example, he quickly glosses over Teller’s dilemma with a brief story about a speech delivered by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to an audience that included the physicist. In the course of this speech, Roosevelt flatly declared that scientists were not responsible for the terrible destruction of the war. In fact, he says, ‘‘What has come about has been caused solely by those who would use, and are using, the progress that you have made along lines of peace in an entirely different cause.’’ In effect, Roosevelt was absolving scientists of any guilt and, moreover, insisting it was their duty to develop weapons. Stirred to action, Teller resolved immediately to focus on weapons work. Rhodes quickly moves on to another subject, never having explored the broader implications of Teller’s internal dialogue.

In fact, Rhodes seems to ignore the fact that several of the individuals he discusses actually laid the foundation for the much larger critiques of science that emerged during the latter half of the twentieth century. For example, regarding James B. Conant (a chemist and president of Harvard who was involved with the development of the atomic bomb as well as chemical weapons in World War I), Rhodes simply remarks, ‘‘[He] was a patriot who believed in the application of advanced technology to war.’’ This assertion ignores the fact that Conant was directly linked to some of the biggest critics of twentieth century science.

Specifically, Conant helped found one of the programs at Harvard that gave rise to the suspicion of science that followed World War II. As James G. Hershberg recounts in the biography James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age, Conant began teaching a course at Harvard in the early 1940s that was intended for nonscientists and emphasized the ‘‘cultural, intellectual, and political contexts of major advances in scientific knowledge and theory.’’ This course led to ‘‘thoughtful criticism’’ and became the training ground for preeminent historians of science like Thomas S. Kuhn.

In turn, Thomas Kuhn gained notoriety for his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which suggested that science was not as objective as previously thought. Rather, Kuhn argues that scientific achievements are framed by the cultural circumstances that produce them, suggesting that scientific ‘‘truth’’ is far more relative than previously believed. In other words, science is not merely scientific but always has a cultural and political dimension to it as well. If this is the case, then do people need to accept scientific assertions as absolute truth, or are they open to interpretation as products of the culture that created them? This is a shortcoming in Rhodes’ book: he disregards the critics of science who have spent the last fifty years questioning the validity of scientific claims and examining the moral implications of scientific achievements like the atomic bomb.

Rhodes’ unquestioning acceptance of the scientific worldview comes across most clearly in the epilogue of his book. He notes, ‘‘Science is sometimes blamed for the nuclear dilemma.’’ However, he insists this criticism is misplaced. ‘‘[Physicists] Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann did not invent nuclear fission; they discovered it.’’ Here and elsewhere, Rhodes completely accepts the scientific worldview—the idea that the universe is a static system governed by universal laws that scientists simply need to discover. For example, he asserts that sometimes even other scientists have a hard time remembering that nuclear bombs were developed ‘‘not only as weapons of terrible destruction. They were also, as [Italian physicist Enrico] Fermi once said, ‘superb physics.’’’ In this respect, Rhodes presents a very utilitarian interpretation of history, which holds that the events of the twentieth century were preordained.

Again, this completely discounts the importance of the cultural milieu and historical events that framed the ‘‘discovery’’ of the atomic bomb. The discovery of nuclear fission cannot possibly be removed from the events that surrounded it—namely, World War II. These developments were intrinsically linked to the armed conflict. The war framed nuclear fission as a weapon, a tool for total war. Without the conflict, fission may very well have been conceived as an industrial power source; or conversely, it might never have advanced beyond the planning stages because of a lack of initiative from the government and universities that developed it. However, Rhodes’ acceptance of the scientific worldview extends beyond simply repeating what the historical actors in his book said.

Rhodes concludes the book by echoing Leo Szilard’s ideas regarding the Open Conspiracy. He posits that the dominant organization of political power in the world today, the nation-state, has become nothing but a ‘‘death machine.’’ The only thing that can resist this organization is the ‘‘republic of science.’’ This refers to the larger scientific community, which is ‘‘founded on openness’’ and is ‘‘international in scope.’’ For two hundred years, these two systems, the nation-state and the republic of science, coexisted. But then, Rhodes concludes, ‘‘In 1945 science became the first living organic structure strong enough to challenge the nationstate itself.’’ The liberation of nuclear energy brought these two systems into direct opposition—science finally produced a weapon that was so terrible, war was no longer possible. Consequently, the nationstate could no longer use war as a means of settling disputes. In other words, the republic of science was the only thing that could save the world from the ‘‘death machine’’ of the modern nation-state by forming an Open Conspiracy of its own.

Rhodes expands this argument, implying that the scientists who invented the nuclear bomb were the true American patriots. He asserts that the intention of the American Revolution was to create an open society. This vision of utopia was not unlike the one that physicist Niels Bohr proposed with his ‘‘open world.’’ Bohr believed that the coming of the atomic bomb meant the existing political order of the 1940s would have to be replaced with one based on diplomacy and mutual security. Bohr’s ‘‘open world’’ can be read as another inflection of the idea Szilard borrowed from Wells: the Open Conspiracy.

Rhodes goes on to suggest that the American Revolution and Bohr’s ‘‘open world’’ have much in common, ‘‘in part because the framers of that revolution and the founders of the republic of science drew from a common body of Enlightenment ideas.’’ The Enlightenment refers to an eighteenth century philosophical movement, which argued that the methods of natural science could be used to discover the laws of nature and human cultures in the interest of creating better societies. By this reasoning, the scientists who invented the bomb were the true patriots; the politicians who stymied their vision of the open world were, in fact, traitors to America’s founding fathers.

The problem with this interpretation of history has to do with the distinction that Rhodes draws between the nation-state and the republic of science. Again, science cannot be analyzed apart from its cultural context. In other words, the distinction between science and politics represents a false dichotomy. They are not mutually opposed to one another. Rather, they both form part of a larger process of power relations in American society. Indeed, Rhodes even hints at this himself, noting at one point that ‘‘industrial technology and applied science enormously amplified the nation-state’s power.’’ Rhodes tries to draw a distinction between two social institutions that cannot be separated.

In conclusion, Richard Rhodes has written a fine book. He makes excellent use of primary sources, has synthesized a vast amount of material, and writes about his subjects with a lively, engaging style. Unfortunately, the focus on individuals is a weak point of the book. It serves to reinforce the beliefs of the scientists that he studies. Rhodes neither offers a critical reflection on the role of science in society nor explores the moral dilemmas of the atomic bomb with sufficient depth. In other words, Rhodes ends up endorsing the scientific worldview of the 1940s without considering the subsequent decades of scholarship that have called it into question. This is the only substantial shortcoming in an otherwise excellent book.

Source: Stephen Raymond Patnode, Critical Essay on The Making of the Atomic Bomb, in Nonfiction Classics for Students, The Gale Group, 2001. Patnode is an instructor of American history and the history of medicine.

Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 994

This Pulitzer and National Book Prize-winning work (for 1987) by Richard Rhodes is an exceptionally well-written account of the building and use of the first nuclear weapons. Rhodes presents an extensive historical exploration of the scientific and political background to the bomb that focuses on people—the scientists, engineers, and administrators. He synthesizes a large amount of material, most of it published, and ably weaves various lines of development together to render a most up-to-date and surely most readable version of the exciting story.

Starting with Ernest Rutherford’s 1911 discovery of the atomic nucleus, the first third of the book is mostly devoted to the history of nuclear physics before World War II. By narrating the milestone events in the field up to the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938, Rhodes does more than provide the necessary scientific framework within which the bomb was created. Scientists’ faith in and practice of openness are well illustrated. Scientists are also shown interacting far beyond their national boundaries. Making full use of biographies, Rhodes introduces prominent scientists such as Niels Bohr, Leo Szilard, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, James Chadwick, Enrico Fermi, Otto Hahn, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, Edward Teller, and many others, when he describes their discoveries. These men eventually became the central figures in the atomic bomb projects on the two sides of World War II.

The American efforts apparently originated in ‘‘the Hungarian Conspiracy’’ led by Szilard. Always concerned about the fate of the world, Szilard, in the days after fission’s discovery, was alarmed by the possibility of an atomic bomb and particularly of its being in Nazi hands first. Together with Eugene Wigner and Teller, two fellow Hungarian refugee scientists, he went to see Einstein to encourage him to write what became the famous letter that brought the matter to President Roosevelt’s attention. Although given some support in 1939, for bureaucratic and technical reasons the bomb project did not receive full impetus until 1941. Then, a more optimistic feasibility report on the bomb from Britain reached America, and Pearl Harbor brought the nation into war. Thereafter, under the general administration of Vannevar Bush, James Conant, and, more directly, General Leslie Groves, by 1945 the Manhattan Project succeeded, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated.

Though few engineers are named in the book, engineering was largely at the center of the project. Oppenheimer headed the Los Alamos Laboratory, where the bombs were designed and tested. The problems his people faced, highlighted well by the author, were at least as much technological as scientific. Ordnance experts, applied mathematicians, and engineers from numerous fields worked alongside physicists to understand and perfect the mechanism of implosion.

Industrialists were also an important part of the story. Production of bomb-quality uranium-235 and plutonium meant much more than merely an enlargement of laboratory-size apparatus. It figuratively demanded no less than ‘‘turning the whole country into a factory,’’ as predicted by Bohr. Du Pont, Kellex, Union Carbide, and many other industrial giants built plants in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington, under the Army Corps of Engineers. In fact, the Hanford plutonium project was the largest plant Du Pont had ever constructed and operated.

Although this impressive achievement testi- fied to the effectiveness of the collaboration between science and government, Rhodes hardly ignores any of the clashes between the two. Barbed wire at Los Alamos disgusted Edward Condon, a prominent physicist. For questioning the hierarchical structure and military control of the project, and Groves’s ‘‘compartmentalization’’ policy, Szilard was almost interned by the general. He was, in any case, under continuous army surveillance. So was Oppenheimer, because of his prewar connection with left-wing organizations. Bohr came close to the same position. He tried to convince Roosevelt and Winston Churchill of both the great danger and the opportunity the new bomb would bring to the world and urged them to consider international control of nuclear weapons. Churchill, suspicious of Bohr’s activities, warned his advisers that ‘‘Bohr ought to be confined’’ to avoid ‘‘leakage of information particularly to the Russians.’’ Rhodes highlights these instances to illustrate one of his themes, that ‘‘democratic’’ science conflicts with the ‘‘authoritarian’’ nation-state.

The military use of the atomic bomb also troubled a good many scientists working on the project. When the bombs were nearly ready, Truman’s advisers, the Interim Committee, decided to drop them on Japanese cities. While the scientific consultants to this committee saw no other options, a group of Chicago scientists, including Szilard, disagreed. Led by James Franck, they produced the Franck Report, which surprisingly is not mentioned in the book, and suggested a nonmilitary demonstration of the bomb to better the chance for postwar international agreement on the control of nuclear weapons. But the bombs were dropped, and the nuclear arms race was under way.

There was never any serious questioning of the bomb’s use on moral grounds. Atrocities in warfare since World War I, so keenly described by Rhodes, had ‘‘the long grave already dug.’’ The use of chemical gases and bombing of civilians terrified people. But the Holocaust in the Nazi concentration camps, the Hamburg, Dresden, and Tokyo firebombings, and the December 1937 massacre of Nanjing where Japanese troops killed 300,000 Chinese, all emphatically proclaimed the darker nature of modern warfare. The apt adoption by all belligerents of new military technologies and the strategy of attrition war prepared the stage for the use of atomic weapons. It was merely a ‘‘bigger’’ bomb, as Churchill and many others saw it.

This failure to recognize the revolutionary nature of the new weapons, against which there is no protection except massive retaliation, Rhodes concludes, misled the politicians and brought us to today’s confrontational world. The way out of the problem is to negotiate an open world with nuclear arms under international control. This, Rhodes argues, is a direct consequence of science’s challenge to the traditional power of nation-states.

Source: Zuoyue Wang, Review of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, in Technology and Culture, Vol. 30, No. 4, 1989, pp. 1078–1081.


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