Spanning fifty years, "Before the Fall-Out" tells the full story of how an exhilarating quest to unravel the secrets of the material world produced the knowledge of how to destroy it. And of how a scientific adventure shared openly between nuclear physicists from many different nations transmuted into a secretive wartime race for the ultimate weapon of mass destruction - the atom bomb. As much as on the science, "Before the Fall-Out" focuses on the 'human chain reaction' - the intertwined lives of the many scientists of many nations whose compulsive curiosity led, however unwittingly, ultimately to Hiroshima. In her page-turning account Diana Preston reveals how individuals responded to events - from Allied scientists debating the morality of deploying the bomb, to Japanese civilians who became its first victims, and to a German chemist working on the Nazi bomb project while concealing a Jewish pianist in his Berlin apartment.
Diana Preston draws on fresh material including interviews with the last living scientist to have worked with Marie Curie, the only senior scientist to have walked out on the Manhattan Project on moral grounds, and the German scientist who accompanied Werner Heisenberg on his controversial wartime visit to Niels Bohr in Copenhagen. A Manhattan Project scientist said that the only secret of the bomb was that it could be made: once this was known, any nation could replicate it. "Before the Fall-Out" helps us make better sense of our own, dangerous world and of the threats and moral dilemmas that face our society today.
Buy Before the Fall-out book by Diana Preston from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(198mm x 127mm x 36mm)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
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Author Biography - Diana Preston
Diana Preston is an Oxford-trained historian, writer and broadcaster who lives in London. She is the author of The Road to Culloden Moor: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45 Rebellion; A First Rate Tragedy: Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole; Besieged in Peking: The Story of the 1900 Boxer Rising; Wilful Murder: The Sinking of the Lusitania and A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: The Life of William Dampier (written with her husband, Michael Preston).