Enjoy millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more, with a free trial

Only $11.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb
Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb
Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb
Audiobook (abridged)6 hours

Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb

Written by Richard Rhodes

Narrated by Richard Rhodes

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

The author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb lays bare the secret heart of the Cold War.

Richard Rhodes' landmark history of the atomic bomb won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Now, in this majestic new masterpiece of history, science, and politics, he tells for the first time the secret story of how and why the hydrogen bomb was made, and traces the path by which this supreme artifact of twentieth-century technology became the defining issue of the Cold War.

From the day in 1941 when the first word of Anglo-American atomic-bomb research arrived in Moscow to the week of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, DARK SUN is full of unexpected -- and sometimes hair-raising -- revelations based on previously undisclosed Soviet and U.S. sources, including:

How the Soviets were able to produce a carbon copy of the first U.S. atomic bomb

How the SAC fought for independent control of U.S. nuclear weapons -- while flying deliberately provocative daytime missions over Soviet cities

How the first and only direct nuclear confrontation between the superpowers was also very nearly the last

Following the lives of the atomic scientists on both sides of the Iron Curtain, Dark Sun is the definitive work on the hydrogen bomb, showing why the world wars that devastated the first half of the century can never happen again.
Release dateSep 1, 1995
Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb

Richard Rhodes

Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes has also won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Prize, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ford, and MacArthur foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of a dozen books amd more than seventy articles and lives in rural Connecticut with his wife, writer and pilot Ginger Rhodes.

Reviews for Dark Sun

Rating: 4.473684210526316 out of 5 stars

38 ratings16 reviews

What did you think?

Tap to rate

Review must be at least 10 words

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    It puts the making of the bomb in the political context of the time.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    A long history worth reading. Richard Rhodes introduces us to dozens of physicists, generals, politicians and business leaders. All corroborate in what could be one of the greatest monumental scientific and engineering feats ever accomplished.Neils Bohr is a key figure as he early on sees that the power unleashed will change the course of mankind and pushes for the secrets of atomic power to be openly shared worldwide.for anyone interested in history, science and WW II this is a masterpiece.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    The grand, encyclopedic, epic story of the atomic bomb program. Starts from WWI and continues until after the end of WWII. Includes short biographies of all of the major figures of the program, as well as a firm outline of the political situation which surrounded them. Harrowing detail of when the bomb itself was dropped, and what the creators thought during the while ordeal. Brilliant blend of history and science.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    The Making of the Atomic Bomb won a Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In other words, people liked it. A lot. I can also tell you it is a thick read. Over 800 pages long (and the pictures don't count). I got through the first 50 and called it quits. No regrets.If I had been able to devote more time to The Making of an Atomic Bomb I would have found it to be a portrait of personalities ranging from scientists (Einstein) to political leaders (Roosevelt). I would have found it to be a commentary on the state of world economics (The Great Depression) and warfare (World War II). I would have found it to be scientific and philosophical, psychological and historical. All those things.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    The Making of the Atomic BombRichard RhodesOct 2, 2010 8:03 PMThis is a comprehensive narrative history of the development of nuclear physics in the 20th century, culminating in the realization that a chain reaction could lead to an explosive device, and then the history of the incredible efforts needed to isolate the fissionable material, and build the devices. It is fast paced, extremely interesting, filled with anecdote and strong characters. I read it compulsively, and I think it is the best contemporary history book I have read. The prose is polished: “Nuclear fission and thermonuclear fusion are not acts of Parliament, they are levers embedded deeply in the physical world, discovered because it was possible to discover them, beyond the power of men to patent or hold” The pace, and the excitement, at the ground zero of the Trinity test, are compelling, and the stories of Hiroshima victims are pitiful. I admired Niels Bohr, and more so Henry Stimson (Secretary of War in FDR’s cabinet) as the most honorable and insightful men of the story. Leo Szilard was the anti-hero, and Robert Oppenheimer the hero of the final efforts to make the bomb. Was it the right thing to do, and the right thing to bomb Japan, are issues that remain unresolved.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    I found this to be a completely disappointing history of the development of the atomic bomb. It's clear that Rhodes aims for a monumental, epic masterpiece, something on par with the horrible power and technical beauty of its topic. But in his efforts Rhodes throws us everything he's got, from the time of day when some scientist performed an experiment (and the number of grams of barium he used) to speculation on whether Roosevelt might have laughed at some observation or not. So a work of synthesis this isn't. Which would not be too bad, except for the stylistic nightmare of Rhodes writing, corny and melodramatic, all over the 800 pages of the text. Which, again, would be salvageable if only the book offered insightful analysis on the major players, on their impulses, decisions, and consequences, on war and peace, on science and curiosity, on hubris and nature. But it doesn't. Rhodes' analysis is superficial, simplistic, fluff. The total sum is a rambling mess that does its subject and the reader a disservice.