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Before the Fall-Out


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A history of the human chain reaction that led to Atomic Bomb.

About the Author

Diana Preston is an Oxford-trained historian, writer and broadcaster who lives in London. She is the author of The Road to Culloden Moor- Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45 Rebellion; A First Rate Tragedy- Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole; Besieged in Peking- The Story of the 1900 Boxer Rising; Wilful Murder- The Sinking of the Lusitania and A Pirate of Exquisite Mind- The Life of William Dampier (written with her husband, Michael Preston).


"Studded with...moments of drama ... Preston's handling of her research is impeccable. But this is far from being a merely scientific history ... The effect is to demonstrate the terrible convergence of events, Hiroshima and physics drifting into the last, super-heated embrace. Furthermore, Preston is on top of the politics ... She lays it out before the reader with absolute clarity ... For Preston, it is the individual act that counts: the apparent impersonal progress of her story is an illusion. Plutonium doesn't exist in nature. We made it. We chose to make it. Read Preston. This is a formidable book." * Sunday Times *
"In this wonderful book Diana Preston sustains the suspense over 400 pages of text. Although we all know who won, Preston tells the story so well that some of the chapters read like extracts from a thriller ... Preston introduces both the physics and the physicists in a logical fashion that grips the reader - however ignorant of science - from the outset ... She also weaves in the parallel military and political stories beautifully ... Diana Preston is not a scientist. She is, in the best sense of the term, a popular historian. But she makes two comments about science that touch on the profound." * Sunday Telegraph *
"The great, enthralling story of the race to build the bomb is often as complicated and full of twists as nuclear physics itself, but Diana Preston has told it clearly and vividly. A valuable book." * Joseph Kanon, author of LOS ALAMOS *
"Fast-paced and galvanizing narrative . . . avidly researched and gracefully condtructed, Preston's revelatory history is rich in telling moments, powerful personalities, intense controntations, and indelible images of the devastation delivered by nuclear weapons." * Booklist *
"What Preston does better than any other writer is to capture the human aspects of the frankly exciting race to create a nuclear weapon . . . This energetic book is a fine place to begin." * Chicago Sun-Times *

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