The atomic bomb was the unnecessary product of mistrust and deceit between World War II allies–resulting in a threat of nuclear war that still haunts us today.
Between December 1943 and August 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill ignited the Cold War by building an atomic bomb, even though they were confident by then that Germany, the notional target of the bomb, had no weapon of its own. Nevertheless, a series of lies, pretenses and deceptions between the Allies resulted in the most dangerous killing machine in history. The Americans did not tell the UK that the atomic research was compromised by Soviet spies; the British did not tell the Americans that in 1943 they knew for sure that Germany did not have a nuclear bomb program. And neither country admitted this to the scientists developing the bomb. Had they done so, many of the scientists, knowing the destructive power of the bomb, would have refused to build it.
Peter Watson recounts this pulse-pounding story of military overreach, which led to the development of an unnecessary weapon that, once it existed, was inevitably going to be deployed. He shows how politicians fatally failed to understand the nature of atomic science and, in so doing, needlessly exposed the world to great danger–a danger that is still very much with us today.