Monday, June 21, 2010

Five best books about inventions

William Rosen is the author of The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention.

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of books about inventions.

One title on the list:
The Making of the Atomic Bomb
by Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes's story of the birth of the nuclear age is an epic that, in terms of scientific discovery, unfolds in the blink of an eye—Hiroshima, after all, was destroyed just 34 years after the discovery of the atomic nucleus. His cast of characters is a virtual Who's Who of 20th-century physics, from Albert Einstein to J. Robert Oppenheimer, but one that also gives star turns to brilliant and dogged engineers like Vannevar Bush and Gen. Leslie Groves. Rhodes pays his readers the compliment of assuming that they are familiar enough with the story to foresee critical moments. We know, for instance, before Glenn Seaborg himself, that Seaborg will name element 94 ("this speck of matter God had not welcomed at the Creation," Rhodes writes) for the Roman god of the dead: plutonium.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Making of the Atomic Bomb is one of Michael Evans' top six books on nuclear war.

--Marshal Zeringue