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Trinity, the debut graphic book by the gifted illustrator Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, depicts in vivid detail the dramatic history of the race to build and the decision to drop the first atomic bomb. This sweeping historical narrative traces the spark of invention from the laboratories of nineteenth-century Europe to the massive industrial and scientific efforts of the Manhattan Trinity, the debut graphic book by the gifted illustrator Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, depicts in vivid detail the dramatic history of the race to build and the decision to drop the first atomic bomb. This sweeping historical narrative traces the spark of invention from the laboratories of nineteenth-century Europe to the massive industrial and scientific efforts of the Manhattan Project. Along the way, Fetter-Vorm takes special care to explain the fundamental science of nuclear reactions. With the clarity and accessibility that only a graphic book can provide, Trinity transports the reader into the core of a nuclear reaction—into the splitting atoms themselves. The power of the atom was harnessed in a top-secret government compound in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where some of the greatest scientific minds in the world gathered together to work on the bomb. Fetter-Vorm showcases J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and General Leslie Groves, the fathers of the atomic bomb, whose insights unleashed the most devastating explosion known to humankind. These brilliant scientists wrestled daily with both the difficulty of building an atomic weapon and the moral implications of actually succeeding. When the first bomb finally went off at a test site code-named Trinity, the world was irreversibly thrust into a new and terrifying age. With powerful renderings of the catastrophic events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fetter-Vorm unflinchingly chronicles the far-reaching political, environmental, and ethical effects of this new discovery. Richly illustrated and deeply researched, Trinity is a dramatic, informative, and thought-provoking book on one of the most significant and harrowing events in history.


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Trinity, the debut graphic book by the gifted illustrator Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, depicts in vivid detail the dramatic history of the race to build and the decision to drop the first atomic bomb. This sweeping historical narrative traces the spark of invention from the laboratories of nineteenth-century Europe to the massive industrial and scientific efforts of the Manhattan Trinity, the debut graphic book by the gifted illustrator Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, depicts in vivid detail the dramatic history of the race to build and the decision to drop the first atomic bomb. This sweeping historical narrative traces the spark of invention from the laboratories of nineteenth-century Europe to the massive industrial and scientific efforts of the Manhattan Project. Along the way, Fetter-Vorm takes special care to explain the fundamental science of nuclear reactions. With the clarity and accessibility that only a graphic book can provide, Trinity transports the reader into the core of a nuclear reaction—into the splitting atoms themselves. The power of the atom was harnessed in a top-secret government compound in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where some of the greatest scientific minds in the world gathered together to work on the bomb. Fetter-Vorm showcases J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and General Leslie Groves, the fathers of the atomic bomb, whose insights unleashed the most devastating explosion known to humankind. These brilliant scientists wrestled daily with both the difficulty of building an atomic weapon and the moral implications of actually succeeding. When the first bomb finally went off at a test site code-named Trinity, the world was irreversibly thrust into a new and terrifying age. With powerful renderings of the catastrophic events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fetter-Vorm unflinchingly chronicles the far-reaching political, environmental, and ethical effects of this new discovery. Richly illustrated and deeply researched, Trinity is a dramatic, informative, and thought-provoking book on one of the most significant and harrowing events in history.

30 review for Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb

  1. 4 out of 5

    Greta G

    Great scientific and historical overview of the making of the first atomic bombs and the decision to drop them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Well-written and well researched, with simple black and white drawings, this graphic novel was an informative and satisfactory read. Now I need to find some uranium and plutonium to try this at home. Great scientific and historical overview of the making of the first atomic bombs and the decision to drop them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Well-written and well researched, with simple black and white drawings, this graphic novel was an informative and satisfactory read. Now I need to find some uranium and plutonium to try this at home.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    More than a history of the atomic bomb, Trinity is also a primer on the physics and history behind nuclear fission, and simultaneously a social history of the Manhattan Project. Fetter-Vorm is a storyteller and an educator, seamlessly weaving the story of Oppenheimer and General Groves' collaborative project in the desert of New Mexico (not too far from where I grew up...) with the history of science. One of the standout sections of the book for me was the countdown to the test explosion in Los More than a history of the atomic bomb, Trinity is also a primer on the physics and history behind nuclear fission, and simultaneously a social history of the Manhattan Project. Fetter-Vorm is a storyteller and an educator, seamlessly weaving the story of Oppenheimer and General Groves' collaborative project in the desert of New Mexico (not too far from where I grew up...) with the history of science. One of the standout sections of the book for me was the countdown to the test explosion in Los Alamos, interspersed with Oppenheimer quoting from the Bhagavad Gita. The book states that the conversations and situations within really happened, so Oppenheimer, a scholar of Sanskrit and ancient Indian Literature, truly did quote Krishna's words to Arjuna. Fascinating. The end of the book was very difficult to read, knowing the history and the end results of this "creation". Trinity is a very important addition to the growing number of graphic histories. I hope to see more work by Fetter-Vorm.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Trudie

    I picked this graphic novel up purely because I needed a "book about technology" for a reading challenge, not a topic I naturally gravitate towards in my reading. I certainly don't think I would have come across this particular book without that nudge. This is a fantastic discovery for me, the power of graphic novels to tell a story like this in a way that doesn't feel dumbed down, yet neither is it obfuscated in dry facts and dense prose. For readers who shy away from reading non-fiction I thin I picked this graphic novel up purely because I needed a "book about technology" for a reading challenge, not a topic I naturally gravitate towards in my reading. I certainly don't think I would have come across this particular book without that nudge. This is a fantastic discovery for me, the power of graphic novels to tell a story like this in a way that doesn't feel dumbed down, yet neither is it obfuscated in dry facts and dense prose. For readers who shy away from reading non-fiction I think this is a perfect introduction to the fascinating story of The Manhattan Project. It presents the science, history and ethical considerations around the development of the first atomic bomb in a way you can digest in one sitting. The quotes come directly from source documents where possible and the imagery is particularly brilliant at explaining concepts like nuclear fission and isotopes of Uranium. I think even the most scientifically adverse would appreciate the domino analogy used to explain the concept of critical mass. Obviously, if this graphic novel sparks your curiosity for the topic there are more in depth works which are cited for interested readers in the back of the book. There were certain areas of this story I wanted to know more about, I think some of the politics was glossed over and the aftermath was touched on very briefly. However, on the whole I thought this was exceptional.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    Kudos to Jonathan Fetter-Vorm for an excellent, well-written and informative book about Little Boy and Fat Man, the atomic bombs dropped on Hirsohima and Nagasaki to end World War II. In a graphic book format, using simple but effective black and white drawings, Trinity weaves together the science, social, military and political background for the invention of this world-changing technology. Very well researched, integrating source material, the secrecy in which the bombs were constructed, it en Kudos to Jonathan Fetter-Vorm for an excellent, well-written and informative book about Little Boy and Fat Man, the atomic bombs dropped on Hirsohima and Nagasaki to end World War II. In a graphic book format, using simple but effective black and white drawings, Trinity weaves together the science, social, military and political background for the invention of this world-changing technology. Very well researched, integrating source material, the secrecy in which the bombs were constructed, it ends with the devastation inflicted and the questions that still remain over the role for weapons of mass destruction worry in modern warfare. Recommended, especially for teenagers who are not big readers, but do like history.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Prior to this book I had never read a Graphic Novel. I will admit to even being a bit of a book snob, the type who thought Graphic Novels were just glorified comic books, and not real books. I read literature, I read 1000+ page classics. Graphic novels? Pshaw! But this book has changed my opinion of Graphic Novels. I didn't know they could be this good. I didn't know they could be this emotional. I didn't know they could be this educational. It could be that I am going through a reading binge on Prior to this book I had never read a Graphic Novel. I will admit to even being a bit of a book snob, the type who thought Graphic Novels were just glorified comic books, and not real books. I read literature, I read 1000+ page classics. Graphic novels? Pshaw! But this book has changed my opinion of Graphic Novels. I didn't know they could be this good. I didn't know they could be this emotional. I didn't know they could be this educational. It could be that I am going through a reading binge on the atomic bomb, Los Alamos, Trinity, etc., so I am interested in this topic, but the way it was presented was incredible. The book tells the story of the scientists, of the development and testing of the bomb at Los Alamos, and then the use of the bomb on Japan. The black and white drawings are very well done. Some of the pages really made me stop. Yes, stop. Stop, stare at a page. Stare at a picture. Stare at the simple dialogue, or no dialogue, and just think. Imagine. Digest. Absorb. Cringe. Put in a bookmark, set the book down. Think. Open the book back up. Look at the page again. Wow. Really. Intense. And yes, this is from a Graphic Novel, what I used to consider a glorified comic book. But this is no comic book. So thank you to Mr. Fetter-Vorm for changing my viewpoint on the Graphic Novel. I hope there are other similar educational, non-fiction books of this type. I will now be on the lookout for them. Because it is true, a picture can be worth 1000 words.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Potter

    I have two history degrees and have taught social studies for 19 years. I've become a huge fan of non-fiction graphic books and graphic novels the past few years because they draw in reluctant readers in my classroom. But here's the thing about TRINITY: the book is better than a lot of adult works on the subject, and I think it comes down to the riveting pictures and writing style of the author. TRINITY is impeccably researched and does a splendid job of retelling the story of the Manhattan Proje I have two history degrees and have taught social studies for 19 years. I've become a huge fan of non-fiction graphic books and graphic novels the past few years because they draw in reluctant readers in my classroom. But here's the thing about TRINITY: the book is better than a lot of adult works on the subject, and I think it comes down to the riveting pictures and writing style of the author. TRINITY is impeccably researched and does a splendid job of retelling the story of the Manhattan Project. The author does an especially solid job of presenting the working relationship between General Groves and Dr. Oppenheimer. Furthermore, anybody who is a visual learner will appreciate the simple way the science behind the bomb is presented. I highly recommend this for high school history teachers, students, and adults who want an outstanding primer on the Manhattan Project. Personally, I can't stand textbooks and would love to see more quality non-fiction graphic books like this one in classrooms.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Miroku Nemeth

    The scientific explanations and a good portion of the history behind the creation of the atomic bomb are ingeniously rendered in graphic form. This is what earned it at least 3 stars. However, it sadly takes a turn into the worst kind of repetition of official government propaganda lines when it deals with Truman, Byrnes, and the decision to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fetter-Vorm has military planners, for example, choose Hiroshima because it is a "military target". Nothing could The scientific explanations and a good portion of the history behind the creation of the atomic bomb are ingeniously rendered in graphic form. This is what earned it at least 3 stars. However, it sadly takes a turn into the worst kind of repetition of official government propaganda lines when it deals with Truman, Byrnes, and the decision to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fetter-Vorm has military planners, for example, choose Hiroshima because it is a "military target". Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing could be more of a damned lie. There are texts and frames depicting the "negotiations" between the world power, including Japanese and Americans, that are about as realistic and historical as an issue of Superman, where the Japanese are shown to reject all peace overtures until after the dropping of the bombs. This is a despicable misrepresentation. The Japanese leadership had been trying to surrender for some time, but Truman and Byrnes wanted to send their message to Stalin. Fetter-Vorm mentions this as a strategic consideration, but he still pumps up the lie (that wasn't believed by Eisenhower or Marshall and many other top military commanders) that as many as a million US soldiers would have died taking the main islands in Japan. He also fails to mention any kind of number for the casualties in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki, which is the most immoral kind of lie through omission that is especially troubling with Fetter-Vorm's usual attention to minute details. I leave you with an analysis of the historical documents surrounding the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki from one of the twentieth-century's greatest historians. The bombing of Japanese cities continued the strategy of saturation bombing to destroy civilian morale; one nighttime fire-bombing of Tokyo took 80,000 lives. And then, on August 6, 1945, came the lone American plane in the sky over Hiroshima, dropping the first atomic bomb, leaving perhaps 100,000 Japanese dead, and tens of thousands more slowly dying from radiation poisoning. Twelve U.S. navy fliers in the Hiroshima city jail were killed in the bombing, a fact that the U.S. government has never officially acknowledged, according to historian Martin Sherwin (A World Destroyed). Three days later, a second atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, with perhaps 50,000 killed. The justification for these atrocities was that this would end the war quickly, making unnecessary an invasion of Japan. Such an invasion would cost a huge number of lives, the government said-a million, according to Secretary of State Byrnes; half a million, Truman claimed was the figure given him by General George Marshall. (When the papers of the Manhattan Project-the project to build the atom bomb- were released years later, they showed that Marshall urged a warning to the Japanese about the bomb, so people could be removed and only military targets hit.) These estimates of invasion losses were not realistic, and seem to have been pulled out of the air to justify bombings which, as their effects became known, horrified more and more people. Japan, by August 1945, was in desperate shape and ready to surrender. New York Times military analyst Hanson Baldwin wrote, shortly after the war: The enemy, in a military sense, was in a hopeless strategic position by the time the Potsdam demand for unconditional surrender was made on July 26. Such then, was the situation when we wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Need we have done it? No one can, of course, be positive, but the answer is almost certainly negative. The United States Strategic Bombing Survey, set up by the War Department in 1944 to study the results of aerial attacks in the war, interviewed hundreds of Japanese civilian and military leaders after Japan surrendered, and reported just after the war: Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated. But could American leaders have known this in August 1945? The answer is, clearly, yes. The Japanese code had been broken, and Japan's messages were being intercepted. It was known the Japanese had instructed their ambassador in Moscow to work on peace negotiations with the Allies. Japanese leaders had begun talking of surrender a year before this, and the Emperor himself had begun to suggest, in June 1945, that alternatives to fighting to the end be considered. On July 13, Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo wired his ambassador in Moscow: "Unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to peace.. .." Martin Sherwin, after an exhaustive study of the relevant historical documents, concludes: "Having broken the Japanese code before the war, American Intelligence was able to-and did-relay this message to the President, but it had no effect whatever on efforts to bring the war to a conclusion." If only the Americans had not insisted on unconditional surrender- that is, if they were willing to accept one condition to the surrender, that the Emperor, a holy figure to the Japanese, remain in place-the Japanese would have agreed to stop the war. Why did the United States not take that small step to save both American and Japanese lives? Was it because too much money and effort had been invested in the atomic bomb not to drop it? General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, described Truman as a man on a toboggan, the momentum too great to stop it. Or was it, as British scientist P. M. S. Blackett suggested (Fear, War, and the Bomb), that the United States was anxious to drop the bomb before the Russians entered the war against Japan? The Russians had secretly agreed (they were officially not at war with Japan) they would come into the war ninety days after the end of the European war. That turned out to be May 8, and so, on August 8, the Russians were due to declare war on Japan, But by then the big bomb had been dropped, and the next day a second one would be dropped on Nagasaki; the Japanese would surrender to the United States, not the Russians, and the United States would be the occupier of postwar Japan. In other words, Blackett says, the dropping of the bomb was "the first major operation of the cold diplomatic war with Russia.. .." Blackett is supported by American historian Gar Alperovitz (Atomic Diplomacy), who notes a diary entry for July 28, 1945, by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, describing Secretary of State James F. Byrnes as "most anxious to get the Japanese affair over with before the Russians got in." Truman had said, "The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians." It was a preposterous statement. Those 100,000 killed in Hiroshima were almost all civilians. The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey said in its official report: "Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as targets because of their concentration of activities and population." The dropping of the second bomb on Nagasaki seems to have been scheduled in advance, and no one has ever been able to explain why it was dropped. Was it because this was a plutonium bomb whereas the Hiroshima bomb was a uranium bomb? Were the dead and irradiated of Nagasaki victims of a scientific experiment? Martin Shenvin says that among the Nagasaki dead were probably American prisoners of war. He notes a message of July 31 from Headquarters, U.S. Army Strategic Air Forces, Guam, to the War Department: Reports prisoner of war sources, not verified by photos, give location of Allied prisoner of war camp one mile north of center of city of Nagasaki. Does this influence the choice of this target for initial Centerboard operation? Request immediate reply. The reply: "Targets previously assigned for Centerboard remain unchanged." http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defco...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    A really good, if quick, history of the development of the atomic bomb. I don't have much in the way of prior knowledge here, and you don't really need it. There are a few names that are casually thrown out without much, if any, explanation, but those moments were few and far between. The graphic format really works well with the scientific explanations for how and why the bomb works. A really good, if quick, history of the development of the atomic bomb. I don't have much in the way of prior knowledge here, and you don't really need it. There are a few names that are casually thrown out without much, if any, explanation, but those moments were few and far between. The graphic format really works well with the scientific explanations for how and why the bomb works.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Farhana

    a very good graphical history from the discovery of atoms to the first nuclear bomb (y)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vinayak Hegde

    Part science textbook and part historical documentary. The book is well researched overview of the science of building the first Atomic bomb and the historical circumstances that led to building it. The Manhattan project was started in the deserts of New Mexico (Los Alamos) and led by General Groves (Administration) and Robert Oppenheimer (Science). The artwork is pretty good though not extraordinary but the given the scientific context it is quite dense with information (especially about nuclear Part science textbook and part historical documentary. The book is well researched overview of the science of building the first Atomic bomb and the historical circumstances that led to building it. The Manhattan project was started in the deserts of New Mexico (Los Alamos) and led by General Groves (Administration) and Robert Oppenheimer (Science). The artwork is pretty good though not extraordinary but the given the scientific context it is quite dense with information (especially about nuclear physics). I wish the author had spent some more time dwelling on the personalities of the scientists that made the nuclear bomb. Many of them are mentioned in passing with no details of their contributions or personalities. The only notable exception to this is Robert Oppenheimer and General Groves. The author admits as such in the afterword. It is a good read for someone who is interested in the history and science of making the atomic bomb.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tobey

    Both graphic novels and non fiction books are not my jam so I chose this to fulfill a PopSugar prompt for a book read in a different format than you usually read. What a beautifully illustrated novel about a weapon of mass destruction. It certainly gives you the nuts and bolts behind the building of the atomic bomb and it also depicts the consequences from it. I've always had a weird fear of the mushroom cloud so in an odd way, this was a good fit for me to read, tough not something I'd want to Both graphic novels and non fiction books are not my jam so I chose this to fulfill a PopSugar prompt for a book read in a different format than you usually read. What a beautifully illustrated novel about a weapon of mass destruction. It certainly gives you the nuts and bolts behind the building of the atomic bomb and it also depicts the consequences from it. I've always had a weird fear of the mushroom cloud so in an odd way, this was a good fit for me to read, tough not something I'd want to read about everyday.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I'd never read a graphic story/novel before, so I decided to start with a historical event I know well in order to see if this really is a format I could appreciate and learn from. I liked it more than I expected, though it did take me several tries to really get into it. Much to my surprise, I found that the graphic format required even more focus than usual; this was nothing at all like skimming the comics section. I have a lot more respect for the medium now. As far as the storytelling itself I'd never read a graphic story/novel before, so I decided to start with a historical event I know well in order to see if this really is a format I could appreciate and learn from. I liked it more than I expected, though it did take me several tries to really get into it. Much to my surprise, I found that the graphic format required even more focus than usual; this was nothing at all like skimming the comics section. I have a lot more respect for the medium now. As far as the storytelling itself went, I felt that the author did as good of a job as one can do with limited text and little more than 100 pages. I was pleased to see that women's contributions to the Manhattan Project were pointed out, at least in part, and that the horrifying effects of the bombs and their power were told with such emotional intensity. (There is a vignette at the end featuring two boys that makes the entire reading experience worthwhile.) There was a solid mix of politics, physics, and psychology. All in all, a pretty good introduction to the format for a newbie. And an outstanding overview of the Manhattan Project for students who don't need every little detail.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    "Inspired" by a breakfast with friends conversation, i decided to read this one now. I'm glad i read it. I'm tempted to give Barefoot Gen another shot. And i'm tempted to read at least a couple books from Fetter-Vorm's lists of source material and further reading. "Inspired" by a breakfast with friends conversation, i decided to read this one now. I'm glad i read it. I'm tempted to give Barefoot Gen another shot. And i'm tempted to read at least a couple books from Fetter-Vorm's lists of source material and further reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Wonderful! Black-&-white drawings. An overview of the Manhattan Project (reminding readers of the roles of Oak Ridge, Univ of Chicago, UC-Berkeley, and Hanford), the science, the bomb drops on Japan, and the Cold War bomb testing. Only quibble is that the otherwise solid reading list at the back of the book doesn't cite Jennet Conant's excellent Los Alamos history, 109 East Palace. Wonderful! Black-&-white drawings. An overview of the Manhattan Project (reminding readers of the roles of Oak Ridge, Univ of Chicago, UC-Berkeley, and Hanford), the science, the bomb drops on Japan, and the Cold War bomb testing. Only quibble is that the otherwise solid reading list at the back of the book doesn't cite Jennet Conant's excellent Los Alamos history, 109 East Palace.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This was absolutely fantastic. I've had a general idea of the history and the horrors of the atom bomb, but this went into detail in an informative and simple way. It briefly went over some history of war and it's escalation. It had a brief history on the build up to the science, chemistry, physics of how fission of an atom was discovered, how it works, and how it translates into a bomb. It was an info dump without feeling like an info dump. It was really well conveyed. Then it goes on about some This was absolutely fantastic. I've had a general idea of the history and the horrors of the atom bomb, but this went into detail in an informative and simple way. It briefly went over some history of war and it's escalation. It had a brief history on the build up to the science, chemistry, physics of how fission of an atom was discovered, how it works, and how it translates into a bomb. It was an info dump without feeling like an info dump. It was really well conveyed. Then it goes on about some of the strategies of the US military, how everything was massively built up (Oak Ridge, TN had the largest building in the world for a while), in secret no less, and all the people involved in the project. It goes through the first test and some of the reactions and what it all meant. Then it talks about how it was used and some of the world politics around it. Again, really well conveyed. It really showed the terror of the result as well. The massive destruction, with a bit of personal devastation, and the confusion in the Japanese military. It talked about Mutual Assured Destruction and the beginnings of the Cold War. How children became accustomed to training for the worst. It's seriously a scary thing. The art was nicely done too. In addition to people there were well done, simple, drawings of how things work.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sreeraag Mohan

    The fire will only stop when there is nothing left to burn. The atomic bomb marked a significant event in the history of mankind. Never before has man possessed the power to obliterate entire cities, cultures, and civilisation in a matter of minutes, not to mention the lasting damage ionising radiation does internally to forms of life. Trinity works as a primer on the science behind the Manhattan Project, and once it was deemed a success, the political and military ramifications the atom bomb wou The fire will only stop when there is nothing left to burn. The atomic bomb marked a significant event in the history of mankind. Never before has man possessed the power to obliterate entire cities, cultures, and civilisation in a matter of minutes, not to mention the lasting damage ionising radiation does internally to forms of life. Trinity works as a primer on the science behind the Manhattan Project, and once it was deemed a success, the political and military ramifications the atom bomb would have for generations to come. Trinity also delves into the intersection where scientific curiosity meets military aggression, and the remorse that Oppenheimer feels as the might of his creation becomes apparent to him. The argument could be made that the creation of the atom bomb is what has prevented a third world war from happening, as mutually assured destruction is inevitable. Unfortunately, a military demonstration of the abilities of the atom bomb was necessary for us to get here, leaving Oppenheimer to stare at his palms and reminisce, I have blood on my hands.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was excellent. Explanations on how atomic bombs work without being too heady. A good view of the outcomes of these bombs vs. other terms of warfare that were being used at the time. A look into the moral aspect of "if we can" and "should we" without leaning too heavy one way or the other. This is a great starter piece for this particular part of U.S. and World History. I happened upon "Trinity" because a friend was reading it and when I looked closer it was referring to the site in which the This was excellent. Explanations on how atomic bombs work without being too heady. A good view of the outcomes of these bombs vs. other terms of warfare that were being used at the time. A look into the moral aspect of "if we can" and "should we" without leaning too heavy one way or the other. This is a great starter piece for this particular part of U.S. and World History. I happened upon "Trinity" because a friend was reading it and when I looked closer it was referring to the site in which the first atomic bomb had been tested in New Mexico. I have been to this site, only open twice a year (April/October), and it is fascinating! My dad took me there in his quest to have me experience NM history (which he loved) and history of war (which he also loved.) It's probably one of the trips that I will never forget. If you get the chance, read this book... and then plan a trip to the desert. It won't be fancy, but you will learn some phenomenal things. P.S. It should not have taken me as long as it did to read this book, I was just busy and doing other things. It got pushed to the back burner.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dakota Morgan

    Trinity is a terrifically informative history of the Manhattan Project, as well as a detailed introduction into the world of fission and an account of the cost of atomic warfare. It's really got everything. Science, thrills, pathos, the grim reality of our atomic future. The book is far more riveting than you'd expect - Jonathan Fetter-Vorm switches gracefully between scientific dissertations and fast-paced narrative to keep the reader engaged. The art is solid, though it can sometimes be hard to Trinity is a terrifically informative history of the Manhattan Project, as well as a detailed introduction into the world of fission and an account of the cost of atomic warfare. It's really got everything. Science, thrills, pathos, the grim reality of our atomic future. The book is far more riveting than you'd expect - Jonathan Fetter-Vorm switches gracefully between scientific dissertations and fast-paced narrative to keep the reader engaged. The art is solid, though it can sometimes be hard to follow the path of the text across the page. Between this book and Moonbound, Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is rapidly becoming my go-to source for information about mid-century scientific achievements. I'll be picking up whatever topic he tackles next.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John

    Picked this up at the book fair part of a conference. I've been thinking about how to integrate graphic novels into survey courses, and this seemed like a good candidate for that kind of thing. It was interesting to me how much Fetter-Vorm chose to concentrate on the science side of this. I don't feel like I got a lot of history of the race for the bomb, or of WWII, or the US in the 30s/40s. What I got was the science - how did these bombs work, and why were they so tricky to build? So for the f Picked this up at the book fair part of a conference. I've been thinking about how to integrate graphic novels into survey courses, and this seemed like a good candidate for that kind of thing. It was interesting to me how much Fetter-Vorm chose to concentrate on the science side of this. I don't feel like I got a lot of history of the race for the bomb, or of WWII, or the US in the 30s/40s. What I got was the science - how did these bombs work, and why were they so tricky to build? So for the first time, I feel like I actually sort of understand how the bombs worked, but is that what I would want to teach students? I guess that would be a question for the students - what stuck with you from this book and do you wish you had learned something else?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    5/5 ⭐️ this is a powerful book that gets into a horrific time in our history that gets little more than a sentence or two in high school textbooks. There have been other times in our (scientific) history where scientists have had to question “just because we can, should we” but not on this much of a scale. The book balances the awe-inspiring nature of what the Manhattan Project was scientifically with the moral/humanitarian ethics that its history still impacts us today. I think this would be an 5/5 ⭐️ this is a powerful book that gets into a horrific time in our history that gets little more than a sentence or two in high school textbooks. There have been other times in our (scientific) history where scientists have had to question “just because we can, should we” but not on this much of a scale. The book balances the awe-inspiring nature of what the Manhattan Project was scientifically with the moral/humanitarian ethics that its history still impacts us today. I think this would be an excellent book to include in a HS US history curriculum because of its accessibility and as a foundation for understanding much of the politics and consequences of the 20th century.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Matthews

    This book was such an unexpected find for me! I picked it up on a whim because I felt a bit of nostalgia as I studied the Cold War in high school and I really loved it! The art was gorgeous and the story (albeit non-fiction) was so entertaining. Most of the science talk went straight over my head but it was well explained so I'm sure most people could understand it. A really accessible insight to such an important piece of history. This book was such an unexpected find for me! I picked it up on a whim because I felt a bit of nostalgia as I studied the Cold War in high school and I really loved it! The art was gorgeous and the story (albeit non-fiction) was so entertaining. Most of the science talk went straight over my head but it was well explained so I'm sure most people could understand it. A really accessible insight to such an important piece of history.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Akira

    This was SoOoOoOo well done 😍😍😍! I got it from my local library but it’s so good that I MUST OWN it for my personal library 📚! This is definitely on my NEED list! It’s a non-fiction graphic novel but it has a kind of poetic essence mixed into it that makes it all the more next level and the artistry complements it perfectly. I loved it! 💗

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    I enjoyed this and finished it in one evening. Occasionally I need a book to scratch my continuing fascination with Oppenheimer and this did the job. The art is wonderful but I can't help but fault the storytelling a bit. There are some temporal errors near the beginning of the book that I can't overlook. I enjoyed this and finished it in one evening. Occasionally I need a book to scratch my continuing fascination with Oppenheimer and this did the job. The art is wonderful but I can't help but fault the storytelling a bit. There are some temporal errors near the beginning of the book that I can't overlook.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    The author did a remarkable job explaining the chemistry, the political context, and the aftermath/guilt of the entire Manhattan Project. Start to finish. I learned so much from this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Overview of the entire Manhattan Project, and how it led directly into the beginning of the Cold War. Did a good job of explaining who the main personages of the A-Bomb project were, and of depicting the massive resources and effort that went into the project. Also explained well the logic of the massive costs of developing the Bomb guaranteeing that the Bomb would be used on a civilian target (since there were no purely military targets large enough to use the bomb on). Finally, Trinity made a Overview of the entire Manhattan Project, and how it led directly into the beginning of the Cold War. Did a good job of explaining who the main personages of the A-Bomb project were, and of depicting the massive resources and effort that went into the project. Also explained well the logic of the massive costs of developing the Bomb guaranteeing that the Bomb would be used on a civilian target (since there were no purely military targets large enough to use the bomb on). Finally, Trinity made a good case that the regime of secrecy surrounding the Manhattan Project fed the distrust and paranoia of the Cold War, and sabotaged any prospect of nuclear arms control from the very start.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Andrikus

    When I came upon Trinity by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm and Michael Gallagher, I thought I was going to face all those clichés found in so many other books written on the topic of Atomic Bomb, such as the horrendous effects of bombs on the residents of Hiroshima, or how the Nevada testing site was picked in the first place. Apparently, this graphic novel has proven to be much more informative than that. It shows how the Manhattan project was conceived by key players such as President Harry Truman, Gener When I came upon Trinity by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm and Michael Gallagher, I thought I was going to face all those clichés found in so many other books written on the topic of Atomic Bomb, such as the horrendous effects of bombs on the residents of Hiroshima, or how the Nevada testing site was picked in the first place. Apparently, this graphic novel has proven to be much more informative than that. It shows how the Manhattan project was conceived by key players such as President Harry Truman, General Groves, and Robert Oppenheimer. Then it went on to explain the key details of history of nuclear explosives, including the process behind how the atomic bomb actually worked, the construction of the Los Alamos (New Mexico) test site, and the ethical doubts that the scientists have in the aftermath of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki explosions. Sounds mundane? Far from it. The scientific explanations are explained in layman's terms...hence, even schoolchildren could understand it without having to feel that they're reading a page from their boring Chemistry book. Also, Trinity highlights how the Cold War actually started before the World War 2 actually ended. The classified research behind the Manhattan Project would continue to remain a Top Secret even for the years after the WW2 had ended. This laid the groundwork for "competition and distrust" that would shimmer between USA and USSR in the following years. As Oppenheimer had assumed somewhat rationally, had President Truman been more open to share the scientific secrets behind the Atomic Bomb project with Premier Stalin, the Cold War might not have started at all. Little did President Truman and his scientists knew that the Soviet scientists have had gained access to the atomic knowledge, thanks to at least one scientist spy they had installed inside the Los Alamos research facility. Later in the book is seen how the Cold War started on the premises of that distrust between the two countries. All in all, if you want a graphic novel that can explain the science and history behind the Atomic Bombs in terms understandable to even your children, this is just the right book for you. With just less than 160 pages of insightful images (without too much of the Hiroshima survivors' bloody gores included), this is a book that guarantees not to disappoint.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    "All this work, whether it's lining up dominoes or enriching uranium, builds toward one single moment: the moment when what was once impossible becomes unavoidable. In that moment the logic of the chain reaction takes over. The fire will only stop when there is nothing left to burn." -From Trinity, page 51 Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is a graphic telling of how the bombs that were released over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were released. The story starts "All this work, whether it's lining up dominoes or enriching uranium, builds toward one single moment: the moment when what was once impossible becomes unavoidable. In that moment the logic of the chain reaction takes over. The fire will only stop when there is nothing left to burn." -From Trinity, page 51 Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is a graphic telling of how the bombs that were released over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were released. The story starts with Marie Curie and her husband discovering polonium and radium, and Ernest Rutherford's discovery of the nucleus. Fetter-Vorm includes a lot of scientific information such as atomic structure and the properties of different elements. All of this information enriches his story telling, and helps the reader have a better understanding of the work that went into creating the bombs and the resulting destruction. Moving forward, the key players in the Manhattan Project are introduced: General Leslie Groves, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and a few others. The level of secrecy of the project is described in detail, as is the large scale: 80,000 people at 4 different locations were involved. Also, the difficulties the scientists faced when creating the atom bombs were included. Things such as separating uranium 238 and uranium 235, and drilling holes in bomb detonators to get rid of air bubbles. The narrative quickly moves on to the test detonations, the decision to bomb Japan, and the aftermath. I felt Trinity was an excellent and accessible way to learn about the development of the atomic bomb. Fetter-Vorm clearly described the excitement felt in creating something new that would end a war, as well as the terror felt when the bombs were dropped and the level of destruction was realized. There were pages that I read several times over because of how powerful I thought they were. The illustrations were great. They helped with understanding the science aspect of the book, and helped convey feelings during the bomb detonation scenes. Basically, I loved this book. I had no desire to put it down and read it straight through. It was informative and entertaining. I learned about history and science, and had a lot to think about when I was done. This is not only a book I would read again, it is one that I plan on adding to my personal collection. And use my own money to do so.

  28. 5 out of 5

    chvang

    A very well-done short graphic history of the Trinity test (the first atomic bomb). It starts with the Curies' discovery of radioactivity, Szilard's letter to Roosevelt, some basic overview of the physics of atomic bombs, the Manhattan Project, and Hiroshima & Nagasaki. A very well-done short graphic history of the Trinity test (the first atomic bomb). It starts with the Curies' discovery of radioactivity, Szilard's letter to Roosevelt, some basic overview of the physics of atomic bombs, the Manhattan Project, and Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathrin

    Very timely read that explains the political motivation for building the first atomic bomb, the technical side and also doesn't shy away from the aftermath. Very timely read that explains the political motivation for building the first atomic bomb, the technical side and also doesn't shy away from the aftermath.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joella

    This book is a graphic novel about the first atomic bomb being made and used during WWII. I thought it was especially interesting to read this book seeing how Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin was so good. And I think that comparing these two books would be perfect for a school class (especially one of those library school courses on Non-Fiction literature for children and teens). Just comparing similar information that is so well done in the t This book is a graphic novel about the first atomic bomb being made and used during WWII. I thought it was especially interesting to read this book seeing how Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin was so good. And I think that comparing these two books would be perfect for a school class (especially one of those library school courses on Non-Fiction literature for children and teens). Just comparing similar information that is so well done in the two formats would be seriously interesting! Okay, as for this book and my review. This was good. I liked how so much was portrayed through the illustrations. I liked seeing the sweat on George Kistiakowsky’s forehead as he used a dentist’s drill to fix the air pockets in the bomb. (And if he drilled into the wrong place, KABOOM!) I liked how with a graphic novel you can see illustrations of things that we wouldn’t have pictures of. For example there is a series of illustrations that show how the bomb worked and blew up over the city of Hiroshima. There are no pictures of how the insides “little boy” work so that it is able to be transported one minute and blowing up the next minute. And at the end, wow. The images of where radiation is (even though we can’t see it…or take pictures of it) is powerful. And so far I have just been talking about the illustrations. As far as the text goes, I was impressed at how much information was there. There is quite a lot of good, solid information about who, what, when, where, and how this bomb was made. Everything from the scientific theories and details to who did what on the project was included. Not to the extent and detail of Sheinkin’s book, but this one has significantly fewer pages. But what information is there, it is top notch. This was a great book that would be good for a research report, history buffs, and graphic novel aficionados. Beautifully done!

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