Atomic Bomb Spies


A - K

Athol, Justin. How Stalin Knows: The Story of the Great Atomic Spy Conspiracy. Norwich, UK: Jarrold, 1951. [Petersen]

Bernstein, Jeremy. Oppenheimer: Portrait of an Enigma. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2004. 2005. [pb]

Powers, NYRB 52.14 (22 Sep. 2005), calls this work "an excellent introduction" to Oppenheimer's story. The author is a "lively writer as well as a physicist."

Bird, Kai, and Martin J. Sherwin. American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. New York: Knopf, 2005.

Freedman, FA 84.3 (May-Jun. 2005), calls this work a "stunning blockbuster" based on "a daunting amount of research." The authors "do full justice to the complexity of Oppenheimer's story." To Powers, NYRB 52.14 (22 Sep. 2005), this work "is clear in its purpose, deeply felt, persuasively argued, disciplined in form, and written with a sustained literary power."

Broad, William J. "New Books Revive Old Talk of Spies." New York Times, 11 May 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

This article focuses on comments from authors of works dealing with the Soviet atomic spying effort, including Jerrold L. Schecter, Robert Louis Benson, Gregg Herken, Pavel Sudoplatov, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, and Jeremy J. Stone.

Broda, Paul. Scientist Spies: A Memoir of My Three Parents and the Atom Bomb. Leicester, UK: Troubaor, 2011.

The author's mother, Hilde Broda, was married to Austrian physicist Engelbert Broda and British physicist Alan Nunn May, both of whom were Soviet spies in U.S.-British atomic bomb research. According to Peake, Studies 55.4 (Dec. 2011) and Intelligencer 19.1 (Winter-Spring 2012), the author "presents a sympathetic account of life in the 1930s when communism was popular. He makes clear that his fathers never changed their political views but does not explain how they rationalized their beliefs while remaining in the West. Scientist Spies fills another niche in the story of the atomic spies so captivated by communism that they betrayed their country and never came to regret it."

Brown, Andrew. "The Viennaese Connection: Engelbert Broda, Alan Nunn May and Atomic Espionage." Intelligence and National Security 24, no. 2 (Apr. 2009): 173-193.

The author explores the linkages between Austrian expatriate scientists May and Broda (who may have recruited May for espionage) in relation to their work for Soviet intelligence.

Cassidy, David C. J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century. New York: Pi Press, 2004.

Powers, NYRB 52.14 (22 Sep. 2005), calls this work "the best account of Oppenheimer's life in science.... The book's chief strength is the way it tracks Oppenheimer through the later years of the quantum revolution.... But Cassidy's grasp of Oppenheimer's character seems once removed, probably because few who knew him remain to be interviewed."

Cochran, Thomas B., and Robert S. Norris. Making the Russian Bomb: From Stalin to Yeltsin. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1995.

Surveillant 4.2: "Based on KGB archival information," this book reveals the "extent of Soviet espionage in its search for the secrets of the A-bomb."

Conant, Jennet. 109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.

Peake, Studies 49.4 (2005), finds that the author tells the story of the building of the atomic bomb "in non-technical terms, but her focus is on life in the 'secret city' as it was then.... Conant provides a new look at how army intelligence and the FBI attempted to prevent breaches" of security.

Herken, Gregg. Brotherhood of the Bomb: The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller. New York: Holt, 2002.

Hershberg, I&NS 19.2, says that this work "merits required reading for anyone seriously interested in nuclear history -- or nuclear espionage." The author's exploration of how Moscow's spy networks functioned during the Manhattan Project "is especially enlightening.... Herken firmly rebuts the charge" that Oppenheimer "spied for Moscow, or that his [earlier] communist activities disqualified him for wartime service for the US government."

Holloway, David. Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic History, 1939-1956. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994.

Hornblum, Allen M. The Invisible Harry Gold: The Man Who Gave the Soviets the Atom Bomb. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010.

Clark comment: My review of this work appears as: "Not So Invisible to History," International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 24, no. 2 (Summer 2011): 383-388. Click for the "author's version" of this review. Click for access to the printed version: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/atAbWPXA7k2pR8A4MZ9y/full.

Bykofsky, Philadelphia Daily News, 20 Sep. 2010, refers to this as a "richly researched book." For Goulden, Washington Times, 4 Oct. 2010, Hornblum's "book injects the needed human element into an oft-told story," and, thereby, generates some sympathy for Gold, especially in his later life, on the part of the reviewer. Peake, Studies 55.2 (Jun. 2011), finds this "a well-documented, convincing picture of Harry Gold as an anti-fascist who only wanted to help an American ally." Chambers, Intelligencer 18.3 (Summer-Fall 2011), notes that the book has "an excellent epilogue that catches readers up on other actors in the book."

Hyde, H. Montgomery. The Atom Bomb Spies. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1980. New York: Ballantine, 1981.

Return to A-Bomb Spies Table of Contents