Peter Bacon Hales

‚ÄčAtomic Spaces: Living on the Manhattan Project

University of Illinois Press, 1997

This book originated as a brief preface to Outside the Gates of Eden:  The Dream of America from Hiroshima to Now. Then it expanded to become the planned first chapter.  After I discovered a trove of  more than 400 never-consulted record boxes containing nearly all the original files from the Oak Ridge operations office, chaotically disorganized when they were declassified in the early '60s, I reconciled myself to an entirely different plan:  putting Outside the Gates aside while I unsealed every box and pored over the contents.  The result was too detailed and ungainly for most commercial publishers;  luckily the visionary editor Karen Hewitt took it to publication, where it won the Herbert Hoover Prize and was a first-ever runner-up for the Parkman Prize in American history.  It has aroused tremendous controversy-- if you don't believe me, read the readers' reviews on Amazon-- for it detailed the immensely complicated moral and environmental costs of the Manhattan Project.

Peter Bacon Hales: Books