Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World
The #1 national bestselling “riveting” (The New York Times), “propulsive” (Time) behind-the-scenes account “that reads like a tense thriller” (The Washington Post) of the 116 days leading up to the American attack on Hiroshima by veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace.
April 12, 1945: After years of bloody conflict in Europe and the Pacific, America is stunned by news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. In an instant, Vice President Harry Truman, who has been kept out of war planning and knows nothing of the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first atomic bomb, must assume command of a nation at war on multiple continents—and confront one of the most consequential decisions in history. Countdown 1945 tells the gripping true story of the turbulent days, weeks, and months to follow, leading up to August 6, 1945, when Truman gives the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.
In Countdown 1945, Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday, takes readers inside the minds of the iconic and elusive figures who join the quest for the bomb, each for different reasons: the legendary Albert Einstein, who eventually calls his vocal support for the atomic bomb “the one great mistake in my life”; lead researcher J. Robert “Oppie” Oppenheimer and the Soviet spies who secretly infiltrate his team; the fiercely competitive pilots of the plane selected to drop the bomb; and many more.
Perhaps most of all, Countdown 1945 is the story of an untested new president confronting a decision that he knows will change the world forever. But more than a book about the atomic bomb, Countdown 1945 is also an unforgettable account of the lives of ordinary American and Japanese civilians in wartime—from “Calutron Girls” like Ruth Sisson in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to ten-year-old Hiroshima resident Hideko Tamura, who survives the blast at ground zero but loses her mother and later immigrates to the United States, where she lives to this day—as well as American soldiers fighting in the Pacific, waiting in fear for the order to launch a possible invasion of Japan. Told with vigor, intelligence, and humanity, Countdown 1945 is the definitive account of one of the most significant moments in history.
Chris Wallace is the anchor of Fox News Sunday. In his eighteen years at Fox, Wallace has covered almost every key political event. Throughout his five decades in broadcasting, he has interviewed numerous US and world leaders, including seven American presidents, and won every major broadcast news award for his reporting, including three Emmy Awards, the duPont-Columbia Silver Baton, and the Peabody Award. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Countdown bin Laden: The Untold Story of the 247-Day Hunt to Bring the Mastermind of 9/11 to Justice and Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World.
Mitch Weiss is a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist for the Associated Press, covering subjects ranging from military misconduct, government corruption, and white-collar crimes to the housing meltdown and unsafe medical devices. He is also the critically acclaimed author or coauthor of nine books.