This is a select list sources for additional information about the Manhattan Project,
Los Alamos, Trinity Site, and the nuclear age. Rather than attempt a comprehensive list, I
have included works that I have looked at and given some indication of what they have to
offer. I have not listed works which are presented in their entirety as e-text on this WWW
site because the bibliographic information is contained within the documents themselves.
The Los Alamos Primer: First Lectures on How to Build An Atomic Bomb,
by Robert Serber, University of California Press, 1992. This book is approximately three
times larger than the original LA-1 technical report. It contains the complete LA-1 text
with additional explanation and updates. Also available online at the Los Alamos National
Laboratory Library as Adobe
PDF format (3.1MB).
Critical Assembly: A Technical History of Los Alamos during the Oppenheimer
Years, 1943-1945, by Lillian Hoddeson, et. al., Cambridge University Press, 1993.
This book gives the most detailed account of the technical challenges and achievements
that led to the first atomic bombs. Impressive.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History, by Chuck Hansen, Orion Books,
1988. This one book tells more than any other about the workings of nuclear and
thermonuclear weapons. It traces the technical improvements that resulted from the years
of nuclear testing and describes the many weapons systems that were built around the
nuclear warheads. Now out-of-print, the story has been updated and expanded in The Swords of Armageddon CDROM.
Manhattan Project History
Jones, Vincent C. Manhattan: The Army and the Atomic Bomb.
Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1985.
This book gives a comprehensive overview of the Manhattan Project. Its focus is mainly on
the administrative work of the Army in over-seeing the project. It offers extensive notes
and is a good place to start looking for more detailed sources. Since it is in the public
domain, I have quoted from it to provide background material for this WWW site.
Rhodes, Richard. The Making of the Atomic Bomb. Simon & Schuster,
New York, 1986.
This is by far the best book of the history leading up to the creation of the first atomic
bomb. Here the discoveries, personalities, and places are presented in a detailed and
readable story. Cannot be recommended too highly.
Rhodes, Richard. Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb. Simon &
Schuster, New York, 1995.
This book is less about the hydrogen bomb than it is about the years from 1945 to 1954,
when the hydrogen bomb was debated and then achieved. It includes a detailed look at
Soviet espionage in the Manhattan Project and at the Oppenheimer security clearance
Los Alamos History
Hoddeson, Lillian, et al. Critical Assembly: A Technical History of Los Alamos
during the Oppenheimer Years, 1943-1945. University of Cambridge Press, New York,
This book describes in exhaustive detail the technical hurdles that had to be overcome in
creating the first atomic bombs. This is perhaps the most detailed look inside wartime Los
Alamos ever published.
Lamont, Lansing. Day of Trinity. Atheneum, New York, 1965 and 1985.
This book is a classic account of the Trinity atomic test.
Szasz, Ferenc Morton. The Day the Sun Rose Twice. University of New
Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1984.
This excellent account of the Trinity test goes beyond the test itself to describe the
aftermath from a local point of view.