Friday, December 4, 2009


The Manhattan Project: a Selected, Annotated Bibliography of Books in the Collection of St. Louis Public Library


Sanger, S. L. Hanford and the Bomb: an Oral History of World War II. Seattle: Living History Press, 1989. 199 p. Photographs; bibliography. Central-ST 623.451

Many people are aware of the Manhattan Project's Los Alamos facility: fewer are aware that workers at other top-secret locations also contributed to the manufacture of the world's first atomic weapons. This is an oral history of the Project's Hanford, Washington facility, which manufactured plutonium to be used in the first bomb. The author interviewed dozens of former Hanford employees in 1986, and allowed them to tell their stories with as few interruptions as possible.

Skates, John Ray. The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994. 276 p. Maps; bibliography; index. Central-ST 940.5425

Author argues that U.S. insistence on Japanese unconditional surrender made dropping of the atomic bomb a foregone conclusion, when invasion of the Japanese mainland would have been a less costly alternative than has been previously believed, and a naval blockade of Japan as an alternative to invasion was never even seriously considered.

Stern, Philip M. The Oppenheimer Case: Security on Trial. New York: Harper & Row, 1969. 591 p. Notes; index. Central-ST 351.74

J. Robert Oppenheimer, chief scientist of the Manhattan Project, was denounced as a Communist after the war and removed from his government position after revocation of his security clearance. Includes a post-script by Lloyd K. Garrison, Oppenheimer's chief counsel at his loyalty hearings.

Szasz, Ferenc Morton. The Day the Sun Rose Twice: the Story of the Trinity Site Nuclear Explosion, July 16, 1945. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1984. 233 p. Central-ST 623.45119

Focuses on the Trinity site in New Mexico, the scene on July 16, 1945, of the detonation of the world's first nuclear weapon. The author provides coverage of the events leading up to the test, and then looks at the aftermath (physical and political) of the blast. The author interviewed numerous persons connected with the Trinity test. One reported that General Leslie Groves, the military man in charge of the Manhattan Project, on viewing the crater created by the Trinity blast, said, "Is that all?" The observer felt that General Groves seemed somewhat disappointed that the hole didn't extend to the center of the earth.

Takaki, Ronald T. Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1995. 193 p. Photographs; notes; index. Central-ST, CP 940.5425

Argues that most American principal players in the decision to use the atomic bomb, both civilian and military, had doubts about the morality of their actions. He further suggests that even President Truman, who was always quick to publicly deny any doubts or misgivings about use of the bomb, privately did entertain such doubts.

Copyright © 2009 by St. Louis Public Library. All rights reserved.

See a complete list of bibliographies and indexes on the St. Louis Public Library website:

Thomas A. Pearson
Special Collections Department
St. Louis Public Library

St. Louis Public Library website:

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