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Countdown 1945 : the extraordinary story of the atomic bomb and the 116 days that changed the world

by Wallace, Chris,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 8 copies
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Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale Non Fiction 940.54 Wal
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Call Number  940.54 Wal
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "Propulsive." -- Time * "Reads like a tense thriller." -- The Washington Post * "The most exciting book I've read all year." --Admiral William H. McRaven

From Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday , comes an electrifying behind-the-scenes account of the 116 days leading up to the American attack on Hiroshima.

April 12, 1945: After years of bloody conflict in Europe and the Pacific, America is stunned by news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's death. In an instant, Vice President Harry Truman, who has been kept out of war planning and knows nothing of the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the world's first atomic bomb, must assume command of a nation at war on multiple continents--and confront one of the most consequential decisions in history. Countdown 1945 tells the gripping true story of the turbulent days, weeks, and months to follow, leading up to August 6, 1945, when Truman gives the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.

In Countdown 1945 , Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday , takes readers inside the minds of the iconic and elusive figures who join the quest for the bomb, each for different reasons: the legendary Albert Einstein, who eventually calls his vocal support for the atomic bomb "the one great mistake in my life"; lead researcher J. Robert "Oppie" Oppenheimer and the Soviet spies who secretly infiltrate his team; the fiercely competitive pilots of the plane selected to drop the bomb; and many more.

Perhaps most of all, Countdown 1945 is the story of an untested new president confronting a decision that he knows will change the world forever. Truman's journey during these 116 days is a story of high drama: from the shock of learning of the bomb's existence, to the conflicting advice he receives from generals like Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Marshall, to wrestling with the devastating carnage that will result if he gives the order to use America's first weapon of mass destruction.

But Countdown 1945 is more than a book about the atomic bomb. It's also an unforgettable account of the lives of ordinary American and Japanese civilians in wartime--from "Calutron Girls" like Ruth Sisson in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to ten-year-old Hiroshima resident Hideko Tamura, who survives the blast at ground zero but loses her mother and later immigrates to the United States, where she lives to this day--as well as American soldiers fighting in the Pacific, waiting in fear for the order to launch a possible invasion of Japan.

Told with vigor, intelligence, and humanity, Countdown 1945 is the definitive account of one of the most significant moments in history.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "April 12, 1945, witnessed the loss of a wartime leader with the passing of President Franklin Roosevelt. In the latter stages of WWII, the Allied effort was gaining ground over Axis powers, but victory was far from assured. Vice President Harry Truman assumed the presidency with trepidation, especially when informed of the Manhattan Project: the vast country-spanning effort that employed hundreds of thousands of men and women and maintained the covert purpose of building an atomic bomb. The crucial players in this wartime machine were many, from scientists like Robert Oppenheimer, who oversaw the New Mexico arm of the project despite reservations about his past Communist Party affiliations, to colonel Paul Tibbets, who led the team that ultimately dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Journalist and FoxNews anchor Wallace charts the perilous and unsure course of the U.S. during the waning days of WWII, capturing the various personae who brought the bomb to fruition. With minute-by-minute suspense, Wallace masterfully writes of the trying time and the Allies' omnipresent doubt up to the very last second."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Fox News Sunday host Wallace debuts with a propulsive account of the final months of WWII leading up to atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Drawing on eyewitness accounts from Allied leaders, U.S. bomber pilots, and atomic scientists, Wallace opens with FDR's death in April 1945 and the swearing-in of President Truman, who immediately learns that the government has been developing "the most terrible weapon ever known in human history." Among those briefed about the plans, there was "a long, deeply felt debate" about the morality and efficacy of atomic weapons, Wallace writes. Separately, military leaders were planning to invade the Japanese home islands of Kyushu and Honshu in what would have been "the biggest military operation in U.S. history." Days after the bombing of Hiroshima, the Soviets invaded Japanese-occupied Manchuria, threatening to permanently alter the map of Asia. Defiant silence from Japanese leaders led to the bombing of Nagasaki, a mission that "almost failed before it began." Wallace, with help from journalist Weiss, writes with verve and an eye for cinematic detail, though much of the story is well-known. Still, this accessible, evenhanded account serves as an entertaining introduction to one of the most momentous decisions in world history. (June)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Atomic bomb -- United States -- History.
World War, 1939-1945.
Hiroshima-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1945.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Japan.
Publisher New York :2020
Edition First Avid Reader Press hardcover edition.
Other Titles Countdown nineteen forty-five
Contributors Weiss, Mitch, author.
Language English
Notes Illustrations on endpapers.
Description 312 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 291-296) and index.
ISBN 9781982143343
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