“In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, not overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.”

-J.R Oppenheimer

The Manhattan Project was a top-secret effort lead by the government of the United States to produce an atomic bomb. It was initiated in June of 1942 and it involved the most talented scientists of the twentieth century, with the largest budget in the country’s previous history. Unprecedented scientific, technological, industrial and military resources were poured in the Manhattan Project to produce the weapon that could defeat Germany and Japan, and help the allies win the war. At the end of World War II, the United States emerged as a military super power. The nuclear arms race and the Cold War galvanized world politics. The legacy of the Manhattan Project still looms large in the course of world affairs, as nations grapple with the expanding threat of nuclear weapons.

We will explore the overall history of the Manhattan Project and its legacy from historical, political and moral perspectives. We will look at the loyalties and motives of its participants, discuss the decision to drop the bomb, and analyze the subsequent transition to a world far less safe than ever before.

The scientists who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory during two or three years have a story to tell. Their oral records and their accounts and views are exceptionally instructive. Following the end of the war, the struggle for world power and the interests and inertia of a powerful military-industrial establishment will also be subject of our inquiry. The world that inherited Los Alamos is still seeking for a settlement on nuclear weapons that can lead to nuclear disarmament and a safer world.

Digital Resources

Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate - Cornegie Endowment for International Peacee

Atomic Archivee

Atom Bomb: One World or None - The Nationn

Atomic Bomb Decision

Atoms for Peace

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Leaving the Bomb Project

Doctor Atomic

Federation of the American Scientists

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Look Back at the US Atomic Bombing 64 Years Latter

Hiroshima and the Art of Outrage –New York Times

Nuclear Files

Nuclear Weapons Archivee

Our Nuclear Age by Stefan Sayer

Pax Americana and the Weaponizaton of Space

Physics, History & Copenhaguen

Power to Save the World - The Truth about Nuclear Energy

Recollections of a Nuclear War – Philip Morrison

“Remember your Humanity and Forget the Rest” – The Russell-Einsten Manifesto and the Pugwash Movement

The Atomic Secret in Red Hands? – David Kaiser

The Atomic States of America

The Hiroshima Cover-Up – Amy Goodman and David Goodman

The Metamorphosis of Andrei Sakharov

The One or None World Report of 1946

The Nuclear Paradox – Jonathan Schell