Churchill's Bomb reveals a new aspect of the great Prime Minister's life, so far completely neglected by historians: his relations with his nuclear scientists, and his management of Britain's policy on atomic weapons. Churchill was far more interested in science than he appeared. He made brave efforts to understand the exciting and sinister new world opened up by quantum physics in the 1920s and 30s, and wrote repeatedly about the coming of unimaginably dangerous new explosives. Britain then was the world leader in nuclear research. But when the awful possibility of actually building an atomic bomb raised its head, Churchill made crucial errors that ensured Britain's exclusion from the American-led project to build the bomb. In this original and controversial book, award-winning biographer Graham Farmelo shows a new and less flattering side to the great war leader.
The British government once led the way in developing nuclear weapons; as early as March 1940, two refugee scientists were reported as being able to make a viable nuclear bomb. By the summer of 1941, permission had been granted for work to start, but Churchill was hesitant, and, six months later, British efforts were dwarfed by America’s Manhattan Project. The British premier later acknowledged American primacy by offering them British scientific help, a generous act that unravelled when the US refused to share nuclear secrets with their British allies, after the war.
Publication date: 01/05/2014
Publisher: Faber & Faber
|Publication date:||1st May 2014|
|Publisher:||Faber & Faber|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites, History,|
|Categories:||Military history, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Nuclear weapons,|
Graham Farmelo is Senior Research Fellow at the Science Museum, London, and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Northeastern University, Boston, USA. He edited the best-selling It Must be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science in 2002. His biography of Paul Dirac, The Strangest Man, won the 2009 Costa Biography Prize and the 2010 Los Angeles Times Science Book Prize. Author photo © Paul StuartMore About Graham Farmelo