The untold story of the career officer in the Army Corps of Engineers who oversaw the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb.
The Manhattan Project was the most secretive government project the United States had ever undertaken, and would prove to be one of the most consequential in history. While many know about the scientists who developed the atomic bomb, from Oppenheimer to Fermi, too few know the story of the man who ran the operation, Col. Leslie R. Groves. In Racing for the Bomb, historian Robert S. Norris brings essential clarity to this overlooked figure.
As one of the head engineers who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon, Groves had proven his skill at marshaling vast resources and conflicting personalities, as well as his ability to handle highly sensitive matters. In September 1942, Groves was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to direct the top-secret research project. He drove the manufacturers, construction crews, scientists, industrialists, and civilian officials to produce the money, the materials, and the plans to build the bomb in only two years.
As revealed here for the first time, Groves also played a decisive role in the planning, timing, and targeting of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Norris offers new insights into the complex and controversial questions surrounding those decisions, as well as Groves’s actions during World War II, which had a lasting imprint on the Cold War and the nuclear age.
“In Norris’s lively, richly detailed biography, General Leslie R. Groves finally emerges as the historic, tough, larger-than-life leader who made the atomic bomb happen.” —Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
“Norris’s narrative is of much use to students of the atomic age.” —Kirkus Reviews