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A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

Others have already written the atomic bomb’s biography, and Fetter-Vorm doesn’t add new insights or historical scholarship. But he does provide a remarkably accessible — and frankly, beautiful — introduction to the events that ushered in the Atomic Age.

His graphic novel can’t be as thorough as the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Still, the thin hardcover presents the key events and introduces the major players. History is distilled into a series of snapshots in comic-book framing, featuring excerpts from notable conversations between scientists, generals and politicians.

In one drawing, a scientist asks, “Can it be done?” Juxtaposed is a scene of charred Japanese corpses and another scientist asking, “Should it be done?”

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