Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: Trinity

Trinity A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb
by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

"All this work, whether it's lining up dominoes or enriching uranium, builds toward one single moment: the moment when what was once impossible becomes unavoidable. In that moment the logic of the chain reaction takes over. The fire will only stop when there is nothing left to burn."
      -From Trinity, page 51

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is a graphic telling of how the bombs that were released over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were released. The story starts with Marie Curie and her husband discovering polonium and radium, and Ernest Rutherford's discovery of the nucleus. Fetter-Vorm includes a lot of scientific information such as atomic structure and the properties of different elements. All of this information enriches his story telling, and helps the reader have a better understanding of the work that went into creating the bombs and the resulting destruction.

Moving forward, the key players in the Manhattan Project are introduced: General Leslie Groves, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and a few others. The level of secrecy of the project is described in detail, as is the large scale: 80,000 people at 4 different locations were involved. Also, the difficulties the scientists faced when creating the atom bombs were included. Things such as separating uranium 238 and uranium 235, and drilling holes in bomb detonators to get rid of air bubbles. The narrative quickly moves on to the test detonations, the decision to bomb Japan, and the aftermath.

I felt Trinity was an excellent and accessible way to learn about the development of the atomic bomb. Fetter-Vorm clearly described the excitement felt in creating something new that would end a war, as well as the terror felt when the bombs were dropped and the level of destruction was realized. There were pages that I read several times over because of how powerful I thought they were. The illustrations were great. They helped with understanding the science aspect of the book, and helped convey feelings during the bombing scenes.

Basically, I loved this book. I had no desire to put it down and read it straight through. It was informative and entertaining. I learned about history and science, and had a lot to think about when I was done. This is not only a book I would read again, it is one that I plan on adding to my personal collection. And use my own money to do so.

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