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The bastard brigade : the true story of the ... Read More

Kean, Sam(author.).

Available copies

  • 11 of 11 copies available at BC Interlibrary Connect. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Prince Rupert Library.

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0 current holds with 11 total copies.

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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Holdable? Status Due Date
Prince Rupert Library 355.82511 Kean (Text) 33294002059020 Adult Non-Fiction Volume hold Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780316381680
  • ISBN: 0316381683
  • Physical Description: print
    regular print
    xii, 447 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : ... Read More
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2019.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary, etc.:
In the midst of planning the Manhattan Project, a ... Read More
Subject: United States. -- War Department. -- Alsos Mission.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Science
Atomic bomb -- Germany -- History -- 20th century
Nuclear physics -- Research -- Germany
Science -- Germany -- History -- 20th century

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2019 July #1
    *Starred Review* Principles governing nuclear fission were discovered before the outbreak of war in 1939, but the belligerents quickly started plans to turn those principles into weapons of incredible power. The possibility of Hitler gaining possession of the atom's secrets was terrifying for the Allies. For the first time in history, an entire military mission was devoted to derailing an enemy's scientific-research efforts. Kean's (Caesar's Last Breath, 2017) comprehensive and sometimes humorous tale of the efforts to stop the Nazi atomic bomb is an exciting action adventure that enticingly combines science and history. Featuring concise illustrations of atomic physics, each worth a thousand words, and a cast of real-life characters that Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy, and the Marx brothers would have strained to invent, The Bastard Brigade is as entertaining as it is fascinating. Kean's colloquial expressions and metaphors provide levity to the gritty history of a world at war, with the survival of freedom, and possibly humanity, hanging in the balance. He never lets the reader forget what was at stake, often stating that failure could have resulted in the ultimate mushroom cloud. Kean's page-turner about a still too-little-understood chapter in history deserves a prominent place in WWII collections. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
  • Kirkus Reviews : Kirkus Reviews 2019 June #2
    An exciting history of the battle for atomic supremacy during World War II. The core mission of the quasi-military group called "Alsos," part of the Manhattan Project, which was led by colorful scientist Boris Pash, was to determine the extent of Nazi efforts to produce an atomic bomb and to thwart it by any means possible. The Reich, after all, had world-class physicists like Nobel laureate Werner Heisenberg. The Allies, too, had considerable talent, most notably Enrico Fermi. Science writer Kean (Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us, 2017, etc.) enlists several supporting players who had largely incidental, though dramatic, parts in the effort to deny the Germans' attempts to create an atomic bomb. There was Moe Berg, a spy and professional baseball catcher, who had the chance to capture or kill Heisenberg—but he was uncertain. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. perished in a nutty scheme to destroy what was thought to be a delivery system for nuclear weapons. The cast of characters, all well delineated by the author, include Ir ène Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot, Robert Oppenheimer, Wernher von Braun, and Gen. Leslie Groves. "Known as a brilliant but ruthless manager—simultaneously the best construction foreman and the biggest asshole in the military—Groves was in charge of all army construction within the United States and on offshore bases at the war's outset," writes the author, who helps readers keep other characters straight with amusing descriptors: A colonel at Rennes was a "big swinging dick"; a "babbling" Neils Bohr "was simply incapable of keeping his trap shut." Throughout, Kean eschews erudite fastidiousness for consistent action and brio. Beginning with the title, the narrative is an engrossing cinematic drama, not an academic text. (Spoiler: Hitler, who was never much interested in science, lost.) Vivid derring-do moves swiftly through a carefully constructed espionage thriller. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
  • Publishers Weekly Reviews : PW Reviews 2019 July #1

    Science writer Kean (The Disappearing Spoon) switches topics with this sprawling history of the Western spies, soldiers, and scientists who worked to thwart Nazi development of a nuclear bomb, accompanied by helpful cartoon illustrations of the relevant scientific concepts. The chronological account begins by introducing a large cast, including Samuel Goudsmit, an emigre physicist; Moe Berg, a pro baseball catcher turned spy; Boris Pash, a WWI vet who commanded the book's titular brigade; and Navy airman Joseph Kennedy Jr., who died as part of a failed mission to destroy German missile bunkers suspected of being nuclear bomb silos. The point of view shifts among these and other characters, taking them through various adventures, including the bombing of a Norwegian ferry carrying heavy water for Nazi nuclear reactors and an attempt to assassinate German physicist Werner Heisenberg. Kean often takes a jokey tone, which readers will either love or hate (describing Marie Curie, he writes "the old lioness roused herself and barged into the lab"), and the majority of sources are secondary, leaving it unclear how he reconstructed dialogue. Readers who love spy stories will enjoy this entertaining book, but WWII aficionados and scholars may want to pass it by. Agent: Rick Broadhead, Rick Broadhead & Associates Literary Agency. (July)

    Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.
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