Atom Bomb

Atom Bomb coverThe Atom Bomb

Submitter: I think this is an awful library book due to the cover, and was during the time of the cold war which I think is reflected in the cover and in the book.  But I have to say that this book, The Atom Bomb, by David Killingray the title and author is just perfect.  I get a laugh every time I think about it.  I am a reference librarian in a small community college in a rural area.

Holly: Ha! Killingray!

A historical book about the atom bomb is perfectly reasonable for a community college, but one that treats it as history – or which includes nuclear weapon threats of today – would be better than one from 1980. Mary loves this cold war stuff. Send it to her.


mushroom cloud over Hiroshima

Little Boy

Leslie Groves and Robert Oppenheimer

Tests in the Nevada desert

Enola Gay



    1. Oh, that is a mushroom cloud? I really did take it as wear to the cover. But I guess I was mostly distracted by thinking whether Harry Truman really was the right image to show, as Ragan mentions below.

  1. Oh goodness, Harry Truman on a cover of a book from 1980?

    I mean, yeah, I get what he has to do with the history of the atomic bomb. But that’s all they could come up with?

    1. What’s wrong with the cover, really? It would seem to me, at least, that the juxtaposition of Truman, Hirohito, and a mushroom cloud on the cover of a book on the history of nuclear weapons is perfectly apropos, whether in 1980, or 2014. Those two men, the nations they led, the decisions they made, and the results of those decisions, have haunted pretty much every discussion of nuclear arms, and frankly, every one on global geopolitics, right down to the present…

  2. Actually, I think this kind of this would be absolutely invaluable in a history class dealing with the Cold War. Short of a guest speaker who was assigned to Strategic Air Command at the time, what better primary source can you possibly get than a non-fiction book that was written while the Cold War was still going on?

  3. David Killingray apparently is the respectable historian who also wrote “Africans in Britain”, “Black Victorians”, “Fighting for Britain”, “Guardians of Empire”, “The Motherland Calls”, in which case this one rather stands out. This seems to be him in his 70s now and I expect he has lots of black friends. What he says about race and the British Empire, I don’t know. I don’t know what to say about it myself except “We’re very sorry.”

  4. I was the submitter for this title. Yes that was a mushroom cloud on the front. I still get a chuckle out of Killingray writing a book titled, The Atom Bomb.

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