Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

Product image 1Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World - Leadership Books
Product image 2Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World - Leadership Books

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#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER * "Riveting." --The New York Times * "Propulsive." --Time * "Reads like a tense thriller." -- The Washington Post * "The book is deservedly the nonfiction blockbuster of the season." --The Wall Street Journal

From Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday, comes an electrifying behind-the-scenes account of the 116 days leading up to the American attack on Hiroshima.

April 12, 1945: After years of bloody conflict in Europe and the Pacific, America is stunned by news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's death. In an instant, Vice President Harry Truman, who has been kept out of war planning and knows nothing of the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the world's first atomic bomb, must assume command of a nation at war on multiple continents--and confront one of the most consequential decisions in history. Countdown 1945 tells the gripping true story of the turbulent days, weeks, and months to follow, leading up to August 6, 1945, when Truman gives the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.

In Countdown 1945, Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday, takes readers inside the minds of the iconic and elusive figures who join the quest for the bomb, each for different reasons: the legendary Albert Einstein, who eventually calls his vocal support for the atomic bomb "the one great mistake in my life"; lead researcher J. Robert "Oppie" Oppenheimer and the Soviet spies who secretly infiltrate his team; the fiercely competitive pilots of the plane selected to drop the bomb; and many more.

Told with vigor, intelligence, and humanity, Countdown 1945 is the definitive account of one of the most significant moments in history.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Wallace is the anchor of Fox News Sunday. In his sixteen years at Fox, Wallace has covered almost every key political event. Throughout his five decades in broadcasting, he has interviewed numerous U.S. and world leaders, including seven American presidents, and won every major broadcast news award for his reporting, including three Emmy Awards, the duPont-Columbia Silver Baton, and the Peabody Award.

REVIEWS:

“[A] superb, masterly book . . . Countdown 1945 is filled with fascinating details. . . . On one hand, the book reads like a riveting novel as Wallace reveals the machinations and internal debates among the scientific community to devise a workable atomic bomb as quickly as possible. . . . But Countdown 1945 is also a profound story of decision making at the highest levels—and of pathos.”
—Jay Winik, New York Times Book Review

“A compelling and highly readable account of one of the most fateful decisions in American history. Like John Hersey in his book Hiroshima, Wallace and Weiss humanize events too often reduced to technical or diplomatic arcana by telling their story through the lives of individuals. . . . The book moves along at a rapid clip, with colorful anecdotes enlivening the narrative.”
—Gregg Herken, The Washington Post

“Vivid and engaging . . . Wallace has made a taut nonfiction thriller out of the dramatic days between Harry S. Truman’s succession to the presidency, following Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death on April 12, 1945, and the dropping of the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki less than four months later. . . . This is a deeply absorbing reading experience about the fateful final months of a conflict that deserves to be known in detail to all Americans. It is what a popular history book should be: propulsively paced; well researched in primary sources; and written with sympathetic imagination, bringing people to life in their important moments. . . . The book is deservedly the nonfiction blockbuster of the season.”
—James D. Hornfischer, The Wall Street Journal

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