Sunday, January 3, 2016

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

     After finishing this book, I find myself enigmatically speechless.  I have so many thoughts and so much to say, but can't find the words.  I'll start off by saying I LOVE this book.  I enjoyed it, yes... but it has launched an anchor into my heart and planted seeds in my mind of thought provoking concepts and soul searching.  
     This book is a non-fiction account of "the race to build and steal the world's most dangerous weapon"--- the atomic bomb.  It is written for Young Adult readers, but is an amazing read for adults of all ages.  Highly, highly recommend this book to teens and adults! I can't wait for my little ones to be old enough to read it.  It is a fabulous way to get kids excited about history, science, reading, politics, etc etc etc.

     The author provides enough information regarding fascinating science and weapons technology and thrilling espionage tactics, to engaged a reader who seeks adventure. But the book also has accurate facts, dates, real photographs and documents for a historian lover.  Everything is true and historically significant and a breeze to read because of the level of intrigue.
     One of the most impressive parts of this book is how unbiased the information seems.  I've read several school textbooks that show more bias and sway than this beautifully written novel.  The author shares the incidents in an interesting manner with tidbits of emotion from each person involved.  I saw very little Sheinkin opinion.  But he gives a wonderful insight into how the people involved were feeling, using their own quotes and accounts.

     Oppenheimer, was by far my favorite part of the book.  He is such a fascinating and brilliant man. One whose feelings are like gold because of the heavy nature of his work.  He is arguably one of the most influential people in history, being called "The Father of the Atom Bomb."  But his motivations and feelings throughout the project are clearly much more complicated than can be documented.  In fact, I don't think anyone in the world could possibly understand the feelings he went through.  I adore J. Robert Oppenheimer.  I hope he has found peace since then.

     I read this story rather fanatically.  I found myself rushing through daily chores and putting my kids to bed a tad earlier than normal to get back to Bomb. I was hooked; captivated by the story.  I even had dreams about being a spy throughout the week. Haha.  I became so involved in the story, it felt like I personally knew all the people mentioned.

     Which brings me to another reason this book has touched my heart.   I was amazed by how many people were involved in the secrecy of the Manhattan Project and Word War II espionage.  I mean, thousands of people had part in this!   But what really struck me, was how each individual that played a part in this history seemed so incredibly significant.  From the head colonel leading a raid.. to the nameless person recruited to deliver a package - every single person mentioned in this story appeared to have an undeniable impact on how it all played out in history.  And how can anyone deny the awesome irony of Hitler pushing the Jews out of Nazi Germany just before a couple of the world's most brilliant physicists (who happen to be Jewish) discover the ability to build weapons of mass destruction.  It's all a huge plan of balancing good vs evil and pinning humanity against survival.  It is absolutely incredible.  
     While reading Bomb, my heart became full of reverence for the miracle of human nature and freewill.  This book added to my belief that there are no coincidences - that each person on this earth is so unique and has a significant purpose.  And what truly makes that purpose a miracle is our ability to think for ourselves and make decisions in the face of difficult choices.  

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