The Apocalypse Factory: Plutonium and the Making of the Atomic Age

Steve Olson (Author)

Product Details

$27.95  $25.71
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
July 28, 2020
6.0 X 9.4 X 1.2 inches | 1.35 pounds

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About the Author

Steve Olson is the author of Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens (winner of a Washington State Book Award), Mapping Human History (a finalist for the National Book Award), and other books. He has written for the Atlantic, Science, Smithsonian, and more. He lives in Seattle, Washington.


The Apocalypse Factory traces the pathway from the discovery of plutonium to the rise of immense production facilities in Washington State to fuel the US nuclear arsenal, with riveting details about the nearly aborted mission to bomb Nagasaki...Steve Olson leaves much to ponder, and he calls on our collective ingenuity to address the threat that nuclear weapons pose today.--Cynthia C. Kelly, president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation
Hanford, the vast complex that bred plutonium for the first atomic bombs on the banks of the mighty Columbia River in eastern Washington, has never had its full story told. Steve Olson now meets that challenge in a lively, dramatic, thrilling narrative of wartime crisis and scientific brilliance.--Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
A gripping story of a time when the fate of the world lay on the line as the United States and Germany raced to translate scientific discoveries into decisive weapons of war. Anyone who has questioned whether investment in science matters must read this book. Anyone who hasn't will want to.--Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences
A captivating, unnerving history...A riveting history of a lesser-known Manhattan Project triumph that, like so many wartime triumphs, has lost its luster.