Author James Kunetka on the Building of the Atom Bomb [AUDIO]
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the first atom bomb. 70 years ago, on August 6, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima—the second was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9. We recently were joined on the show by author James Kunetka to discuss his new book, The General and the Genius: Groves and Oppenheimer — The Unlikely Partnership that Built the Atom Bomb.
The General and the Genius reveals how two extraordinary men pulled off the greatest scientific feat of the twentieth century. Leslie Richard Groves of the Army Corps of Engineers, who had made his name by building the Pentagon in record time and under budget, was made overlord of the vast scientific enterprise known as the Manhattan Project. His mission: to beat the Nazis to the atomic bomb. So he turned to the nation's preeminent theoretical physicist, J. Robert Oppenheimer—the chain-smoking, martini-quaffing son of wealthy Jewish immigrants, whose background was riddled with communist associations—Groves's opposite in nearly every respect. In their three-year collaboration, the iron-willed general and the visionary scientist led a team in a secret mountaintop lab and built the weapons that ended the war.
It's an amazing story and one that James described when he joined us. Here's the full audio: