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The Manhattan Project Trinity Test: Witnessing the Bomb in New Mexico
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The Manhattan Project Trinity Test: Witnessing the Bomb in New Mexico

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One of the defining moments of the 20th century, the Trinity Test of the Manhattan Project defined the future of warfare and provided a haunting prelude to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico's remote Jornada del Muerto became, for one instant, a cloud of fire.

In this place-based overview of this historic event, the author collects a variety of stories from before, during, and after the explosion, covering a variety of voices. Setting the stage, introductory chapters outline the project to this point and exactly what the test sought to accomplish, as well as the effects of this extensive military operation on the remote, rural communities around New Mexico. As the test begins, notable individuals like J. Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi provide their accounts of the test and reflections on the "Pandora's Box" they had a hand in unleashing. Oral histories and interviews with locals who felt, saw, or heard the blast give a greater understanding of the scale of the explosion, and later chapters explore the unfortunate history of health effects in the "downwinders," New Mexico locals who have been exposed to radiation from the blast.    

By Elva K. Österreich. The History Press, 2020. Paperback, 126 pages.

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