Colin’s Letter-Essay #9: “Bomb: the Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon”

I just finished reading “Bomb: the Race to Build-and steal- the Worlds most Dangerous weapon” by Steve Sheikin. I chose this book because Mrs. Quezada recommended it to me. I also chose it because I saw that Mr. Jockers reviewed it on Biblionasium. This 266 page novel is about the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII. What most people don’t know is that The Soviet Union tried to steal the secrets of the U.S.A. to make their own bomb. This is the story of the men, led by Robert Oppenheimer, who created the deadliest weapon in human history; and the people who tried to steal it. I liked how the author was able to find lots of visuals about the book; it made it much more interesting to read. However, I didn’t get why the author had so many stories going from chapter to chapter. As soon as I got excited about one topic, it would immediately change to another thing. I was very drawn to this passage:

“He had a few more minutes to destroy seventeen years of evidence.
Still in pajamas, Harry Gold raced around his cluttered bedroom, pulling out desk drawers, tossing boxes out of the closet, and yanking books from the shelves. He was horrified. Everywhere he looked were incriminating papers- a plane ticket stub, a secret report, a letter from a fellow spy.
Gold ripped the papers to shreds, carried two fistfuls to the bathroom, shoved them into the toilet, and flushed. Then he ran back to his bedroom, grabbed the rest of the pile, and stumbled on slippers down the stairs to the cellar, where he pushed the stuff to the bottom of an overflowing garbage can.” (p. 1)

I was interested by this paragraph because it was a great hook to the book and amazed me how Sheikin was able to write the story like it was a narrative.
This was a very good book overall. I would rate it an 8 out of ten. I would recommend this book to people interested in WWII, or someone interested in spies or the cold war.

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4 thoughts on “Colin’s Letter-Essay #9: “Bomb: the Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon”

  1. Good job Colin, I liked your letter essay a lot and will probably read bomb. I also didn’t know that the Soviet Union tried to steal the secrets of the U.S. To make there own bomb.

  2. Colin, I have seen lots of people in school carrying this book around so it must be good. This books seems very intense. You did a good job summarizing the book without giving away the ending. I think I will give this book a try.

  3. Very good Colin. I have always been meaning to read this book, and because of your review I will have to read it sooner. I always thought WWII was an interesting topic, and you really showed that in your essay. Nice job.


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